Understanding Divorced Father’s Rights

Divorced fathers’ rights are far too often overlooked. Fathers must have the right to be a part of their children’s lives. Learn more here from a lawyer.

What Are a Divorced Father’s Rights?


Legally, both mother and father have equal rights to their child. But unfortunately, in divorce proceedings, fathers are often considered the more incompetent parents because of the images and stereotypes portrayed in TV shows, commercials, and society in general. 

But all the stereotypes don’t mean that each individual father on the planet is incompetent and should not have any rights to their children.

To better protect your image and rights, it is better to understand what rights you have over your child and how you can address them in court during a child custody or divorce proceedings. 

Understanding a Divorced Father’s Rights in Court

In our societies, moms are considered and believed to be good, competent, and attentive parents compared to the father. They are considered to be more focused on a child’s lifestyle, food needs, upbringing, education, etc. However, one can never deny that a father could be as attentive and competent as a mother. 

Though the court system in the United States has equal parental rights for both parents, fathers often have a harder time in legal proceedings, unless they are granted sole custody. However, if you better understand your rights as a father, you can do a better job of expressing your competence in court. 

You must know your rights as a father while presenting yourself in any of the following legal matters. 

  • Child Custody (physical custody, legal custody, sole custody)

  • Visitation

  • Child Support

  • Child Relocation

  • For Adoption 

A clear understanding of your rights, plus an experienced child custody lawyer Clayton MO who is experienced with a variety of case scenarios, such as domestic violence, child custody for unmarried parents and unmarried fathers, shared custody arrangements, and other custody matters, can help you get the results you want.

Common Issues Regarding a Father’s Rights in a Divorce Proceeding

Going through a divorce or any other family law proceedings is a hurtful, disturbing, and emotionally traumatic process where fathers get easily angry about multiple things. 

  • Equal Rights to the Child: The law system has no discrimination. Both mothers and fathers possess equal rights to the child that no one can deny. 

  • Petition for Custody: During a divorce proceeding, a father can legally submit a petition for child custody in court for the child’s best interest. The court will also consider a child’s preference about custody but for a certain age. 

  • Petition for Custody Change: If any of the circumstances put the upbringing, education, or health of your child at stake, fathers can submit a petition for custody change in the court. The court will reconsider the child custody decision.

  • Automatic Custody or Visitation: In many states, the court promotes that both parents should be able to spend enough quality time with their kids to nurture their relationships better. However, some states do not allow automatic custody or visitation to the fathers. 

  • No-Refusal to Court Order Visitation: If the court has ordered a predefined schedule and duration for visitation, no one can deny or resist the father from meeting his child. 

  • Rights in Shared Legal Custody: If both parents are sharing the legal custody rights, which means that both can decide things for the better upbringing, development, and future of their child, one parent has equal rights as the other parent. He can decide things in the child’s best interests, including physical health, medical care, and legal decisions regarding the child.

Do Fathers Have the Same Rights as Mothers?

Yes, in many states of the United States, fathers are given the same rights as mothers. They can freely decide things like education, healthcare decisions, residence, and other stuff with the same rights as a mom. In most legal family matters like child custody, divorce, or during legal battles, the rights of the father to contribute and participate are the same as that of a mother. 

Moreover, if anyone tries to violate a father’s legal rights, you can proceed with legal charges to deal with them. For example, maternal relatives of your child often try to get the kid away from you or pay unordered visits. In some cases, maternal relatives have taken the kids away from the father without him knowing. 

In these scenarios, you have the complete right to file a case against them. You can file a kidnapping case and legally ensure your child’s safety. 

Fighting for your rights in a society where your efforts aren’t recognized could be devastating and challenging. Working with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer with command in other family matters, including child custody, can help you better protect your rights and mental well-being. 

What Rights Do Fathers Have?

When it comes to settling issues in family court, whether it is a divorce case, child custody, or any other, fathers have equal rights as mothers. 

A Father’s Custodial Rights

Unlike the old fashion times when it was believed that the child should live with their mother for a better future, now the court has accepted that the fathers should have equal rights in child custody. Moreover, if the father is more stable in finance, intelligence, and emotions than the mother, the chances of granting complete legal custody to the father get higher. If the father is well equipped to make better decisions for the child’s best interest, he will be granted full custody. 

Furthermore, if the father hasn’t been granted custody, he can expect a significant parenting time to keep the parenthood relationship with his child better. 

A Father’s Visitation Rights

The court gives the legal right to both parents to spend reasonable time with kids. Both parents should be able to set a schedule of parenting plans with their kids to maintain the quality of relationships as before. 


A Father’s Support Rights

In most divorce proceedings, fathers are responsible for paying for child support to facilitate their growth and development by providing all the necessary things they need for it. The court will define a specific amount based on several factors, including the child’s need, your income, and the other parent’s income. However, this amount should be justified and shouldn’t interfere with your basic needs. Moreover, if you are granted full support, you have the right to ask for financial support from the mother. 


Consult With Us

Often knowing your rights isn’t enough, and you need a proven strategy to protect your rights in the court for your and your child’s best interest. Working with an experienced St. Louis divorce lawyer could help you with better suggestions and legal representation in divorce and child custody cases. 

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