There is nothing more important to children than their parents. Both mothers and fathers play unique roles in their children’s lives, and both parents should have an equal opportunity to contribute to their upbringing.
In Georgia, the law does not give mothers priority over fathers when it comes to the care and custody of their children. However, in many family law cases, mothers still receive preferential parenting arrangements. If you are facing divorce or a child custody issue, a Sandy Springs father’s rights lawyer can help you assert your rights. Our team of skilled family attorneys understands how important your children are to you and can help you make sure you reach an arrangement that protects your relationship with them.
Even though the law treats mothers and fathers equally, there remains a lingering bias towards fathers in many cases. This bias occurs for several reasons. First, mothers are still more likely to handle the day-to-day tasks of child rearing. When the mother has been the primary caregiver for the children for most of their lives, judges will be reluctant to upset their normal routine. Fathers who have been more active in raising their children are more likely to receive joint child custody or additional parenting time.
Second, unmarried mothers may receive full parenting rights after they give birth and sign the birth certificate in the hospital. In contrast, fathers who were not married to the mothers of their children will either need to sign a form acknowledging their paternity and legitimating their child or will need to file an action in court to establish themselves as the biological and legal father.
The best way for fathers to gain equal parenting rights is often to assert themselves and actively work to be a part of their children’s lives. Judges are required to act in the best interest of the children involved in any case, and each parent must show that having custody or visitation rights would benefit the children.
A judge will generally pick one parent to act as the primary custodial parent, while the other parent will have visitation or parenting time. Even if parents share time relatively equally, the parents or the judge will usually designate one parent as the final decisionmaker. The parent with primary physical custody usually receives child support payments from the other.
When a judge is deciding who will receive primary physical custody, they look at several factors. These factors can include each parent’s living situation and home environment, the person’s work schedule and availability to care for the children, the parent’s physical and mental health, and any history of criminal behavior, substance abuse, or neglect. A Sandy Springs father’s rights attorney can further explain how a parent can work to expand their parenting time.
Fathers should not assume that they will receive fewer parental rights than mothers. However, they may need to put in additional effort to overcome any existing bias in the legal system.
With the help of a skilled Sandy Springs father’s rights lawyer, fathers can fully exercise their parental rights and can protect their relationship with their children. Call today to speak with a member of the team to learn more.