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Fathers have rights during divorce. Know them.

The American social narrative says that women are always running after men to take responsibility for their children, but the modern truth is that men are often the ones chasing custody. It is this old school frame of mind that scares many men into thinking they cannot have an equal chance of being with their children. You should understand your rights as a father when separation happens and know that the law has your back.

New York law supports fathers equally 

It is common to see men reluctantly let their children go during the initial separation because they fear that the law won't have their back. Often it is assumed that mothers have legal priority and that the children should automatically stay with the mother until further notice. This is untrue. In New York fathers have the same rights as mothers during separation. This means that fathers can have access to their children and also keep them at home during the separation process.

Fathers have an equal chance for parenting time

The court room is intimidating and many fathers want to steer clear of it. Fear of facing gender bias in a trial can scare men into giving up custody early in the process. Fathers fear that they will lose their children all together. You should know that it is very possible to gain equal time with your children.

In New York there are two types of custody: legal and physical custody. Physical custody determines where the child lives permanently. If the one parent has physical custody then it is possible for the other parent to have them for part of the week. Legal custody determines who makes important life decisions for the child. Big decisions can include school, sports, summer activities, etc.

In most cases a judge will determine the result from how the parents split their parenting time before divorce. If one parent spent more time as a caregiver then they will have preference in court. You can support your case by showing that you were equally involved as a caregiver before divorce as you will be after. Here are some helpful things to list that you do as a parent:

  • Taking your children to school
  • Taking them to after school activities
  • Giving the kids meals
  • Taking them to appointments
  • Helping them with homework

Overall it is important to remember that your children will benefit from time with their father and their mother. Try to be cooperative but firm in important issues with your spouse. If you are facing a separation it is best to contact an attorney right away to ensure the best case to gain parental custody.

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