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Fathers' Child Custody Rights


Although there have been great strides for equality in child custody arrangements in recent decades, many fathers' rights advocates argue divorce courts still favor mothers in divorce. Prior to the 1960s, the laws in most states called for courts to automatically rule in favor of the mother's child custody rights, unless she was found to be unfit.

Fathers' rights advocates have worked hard to increase awareness and push for legislation for equal rights for fathers in child custody, visitation and child support. Child custody laws have evolved, and many divorce courts now favor joint child custody.

Types of Child Custody

Fathers' rights advocates have sought to level the playing field; however, in some cases and jurisdictions, divorce courts may still tend to award the mother sole physical child custody, with child visitation rights for fathers. In all states, courts consider what's in the best interest of the child as a key legal standard when deciding child custody.

  • Physical Child Custody

    In joint physical custody arrangements, children generally live with one parent and have substantial visitation time with the other so both parents play a role in actively raising the child. The parent the child is with at any given time is responsible for day-to-day care and decision making. They have the right to care for the child without interference by the other parent.
  • Legal Child Custody

    When parents have joint legal custody of a child, they are equally responsible for making legal decisions for the child and must consult with each other before making changes that affect the child. Many divorce courts now favor joint legal custody unless it would not be in the best interest of the child.

Speak with a Divorce Attorney about Fathers’ Child Custody Rights

Protect your rights to having a relationship with your child today. Learn about child custody laws in your state and get advice about child custody by speaking with a local divorce lawyer. Connect today by calling 877-349-1310 or filling out a divorce case review form.

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The above synopsis of fathers' child custody rights is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.