- by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
Many fathers are uninformed regarding child custody or visitation after divorce. One common myth is that the mother’s requests are given priority in determining custody, and that the father must comply. Don’t miss out on being a part of your child’s life. You have the same rights as your ex-wife, unless stated otherwise by the court. Here are four rights you have as a father:
- The right to be the custodial parent: In decades past, mothers largely won primary custody of their children without much protest. In recent years, more fathers have been granted custody during divorce proceedings. As more women have started working full-time even after the birth of their children, more fathers are adopting the role as primary caregiver. The court will ultimately consider the best situation for your child when granting custody.
- The right to be involved: You have the right to spend quality time with your child, which means you have the right to visitation. You can and should maintain a consistent schedule so that you and your child can spend plenty of time together.
- The right to co-parent: If parents are equally involved in parenting before divorce, the court often opts to maintain a similarly equal schedule for the child after divorce. The rules and regulations for co-parenting are different in every state, but hiring a divorce lawyer that knows these rules is crucial to obtaining your rights. Courts often request proof that you and your ex-spouse are capable of communicating effectively to make decisions for your child.
- The right to assist decision-making: If you are in a co-parenting custody arrangement, you have the right to assist is making decisions concerning your child’s education, health and religion.
Keep in mind Georgia requires unmarried fathers to legitimate the child before rights to custody or visitation is considered in court.