Father’s rights are an increasingly popular topic when it comes to child support and child custody since women are perceived to be better caretakers and men to have more marketable job skills or are earning more income.
Male parents are supposed to have the same rights regarding child support and custody as women with courts looking to other factors in determining who should have primary custody of the children and be receiving support payments from the other parent. At the Father’s Rights Attorney Group, our lawyers advocate for men who are seeking primary custody of their children, child custody payments or whose rights to visitation and legal custody have been minimized. After all, fathers are just as vital to the well-being of children as mothers.
Increasingly, men are taking on the roles of stay at home fathers with the mother as the primary wage earner. Commensurate with the switching of traditional roles is the issue of who gains primary custody if the parents divorce. Although more courts are amenable to granting primary custodial rights to men, most observers feel that judges generally favor mothers.
In some circumstances, the court may order equal shared custody where the child’s physical presence is shared and both parents have equal authority to supervise and monitor the child. Generally, one parent has primary physical custody if the parents live in separate school districts or locations even though both parents have joint physical custody.
To determine who should be primary custodian if the parents are unable to agree, the courts look at a number of factors:
- Percentage of time each parent spends with the children
- Involvement in the children’s educational, medical and extra-curricular activities
- Who attends the parent-teacher conferences?
- Who knows the names of the child’s teachers, coaches and doctors
- Any history of physical abuse
- Stability of the home environment
- Any other factors affecting the welfare, health and education of the child
Let an attorney from the Fathers’ Rights Attorney Group assess your situation and advise you regarding your rights on custody.
Child Custody Modification
Parents have a right to seek modification of any child custody order so long as the moving parent can demonstrate there has been a change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child since the original order was issued. Examples include:
- A parent has changed residences
- The child is of sufficient age or maturity to want a change in custody or visitation
- Evidence exists that the child has been abused
- The parent has been engaged in criminal conduct affecting the child’s welfare or safety or has been incarcerated
- The stability of the home environment has otherwise changed significantly for the worse
An attorney from the Father’s Rights Attorney Group can assist you in determining if certain circumstances exist that would warrant a change in custody in favor of granting you custody or increased visitation or if the other parent is challenging your current custodial or visitation rights.
Child support payments are made by the parent who does not have primary custody of the child or who does not spend as much time with the child as the other parent. Both parents are obligated to pay for the support of their children.
Support payments are made until the child reaches age 18, though it may continue to age 19 under certain circumstances. The amount to be paid is determined by published guidelines. As a father with primary physical custody, you are entitled to receive support payments from the mother. Generally, the amount of support is determined by the number of children and the net disposable incomes of both parents. The amounts may be different if one parent has a significantly lower income than the other in cases where parental time is essentially equal, or where there are two children or more, one of whom might spend more time with the other parent. If a child is special needs, the support amount may also differ.
Our attorneys from the Father’s Rights Attorney Group can help determine the amount of support you may have to pay or receive. We also protect fathers who may be forced to pay an unfair amount of support and work to make the payments equitable and in the best interests of the children.
Child Support Modifications
Each parent may request a modification in the amount of ordered support but only if there is a significant or material change in circumstances in finances or the custodial arrangement. What constitutes a material change includes:
- Another child is born to a parent with a different parent
- A parent loses employment or is now earning substantially more income
- Incapacity of a parent including incarceration
- Time share with the child by one parent is decreased
If you feel your support payments are unbalanced or based on unsupported allegations or facts provided by the mother, or if you are not receiving what you feel is a fair amount from the child’s mother, contact a lawyer from the Father’s Rights Attorney Group for a free, initial evaluation of your situation.