Divorced fathers and child custody rights

Dads going through a Pennsylvania divorce often feel like they don’t have equal rights when child custody decisions are being made in family court. Because many courts favor mothers in these matters, the moms are often awarded primary physical custody. While fighting for as much visitation time as they can get, some fathers are falsely accused of being abusive or lazy.

Many fathers who have been awarded joint legal custody still feel left out of parenting decisions. When a mother schedules doctor’s appointments and parent-teacher conferences without informing the father, this behavior can create a common dynamic in which the father feels left out of his children’s lives. Some fathers who insist on going to their child’s meetings are treated like their opinions don’t matter. This is not supposed to happen, because under joint legal custody, both parents are entitled to input on certain major decisions involving their kids, such as education, health care and religion.

Divorced fathers may not speak up about an unbalanced parenting schedule because they fear losing more time with their children in a system where the mother has the upper hand. When divorced parents do not have a detailed parenting plan, fathers may have to make special requests for extra time with their children that may or may not be granted.

A father who is going through a divorce may want to have assistance from an attorney for any child-related issues that may arise. Unless he is been shown to be abusive to his children in the past or incapable of making sound decisions, the attorney may argue that both physical and legal custody should be awarded jointly, as it would be in the best interests of the children.

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