Determining a child custody arrangement is one of the most difficult things for a court to do in cases of divorce. In the past, courts have demonstrated a gender bias towards mothers in creating such arrangements. It is important for courts and all parties involved in such cases to not infringe on fathers' rights by providing them a level playing field in such determinations.
A Florida task force is advocating on behalf of fathers involved in custody battles for their children. One of the focal points of the group is to educate fathers on their rights and responsibilities in such proceedings. They encourage fathers to not give up if they feel that the judicial system is against them. They also remind fathers that they fight for custody on behalf of their children, not against the mother. Additionally, they educate fathers on their responsibilities involving child support and what to do in cases involving domestic violence on the part of either party.
The state of Georgia encourages the involvement of both parents in the life of their child. However, courts have had a bias toward mothers in the past regarding the granting of child custody. This trend has begun to shift recently, however, as courts are beginning to remove gender as a factor in their custody arrangements and are focusing on what is in the child's best interests, as it should be. In determining what is in a child's best interests, there are numerous factors for a court to consider. These factors include the health of the parents, any prior abuse by either parent, religious considerations and the ability to provide a stable home environment. Each of these factors must be weighed with the others to determine what is best for the child.
The task force mentioned above is aiming to assist fathers that wish to gain custody or have visitation rights with their children. They are educating them about their rights and responsibilities in custody situations and informing them that they should continue fighting for their rights even if they feel that a court is biased towards the mother. The task force also reminds the fathers that they are fighting for what is best for their children, not themselves and not against the mother.
Source: Miami Herald, "Fatherhood task force educates dads in custody fights," Sanah Faroke, Aug.6 2013