If you are a child of divorce or if you grew up with a lot of friends whose parents were divorced, you may remember the way things were: Usually the mothers had custody of their children and their ex-husbands paid child support and rarely got to see their kids.
If you’re now getting a divorce, the “old way” that child custody ended up (with the children living with their mothers) 90 or 95% of the time may be burned in your mind and you may not realize it, but that doesn’t have to be you.
The problem is that a lot of fathers who are getting a divorce for the first time aren’t aware of the fact that they have the same rights as their wives in regards to child custody, child support, and even spousal support– it’s all equal – mothers no longer get first dibs. But, a lot of fathers don’t know that.
Assuming the mother always gets the kids, fathers are too quick to throw in the towel. They’re too quick to let their children live with their moms, assuming they have no choice. Then, years later when they realize their error, they contact a family law firm like ours and try to go back to court to get more time with their kids.
You Have the Same Rights as Your Wife
You read that right. You have the SAME rights as your wife in a divorce. What does this mean? It means the laws are gender neutral and if you want 50/50 joint custody of your kids, you can go after it. If your wife fights you on the matter, you can go to court and let the judge decide.
If your wife has questionable parenting skills because she’s physically or emotionally abusive, has a serious mental illness, or has a substance abuse problem, you can ask the court for sole physical custody.
What we’re saying is, by law you are entitled to the same things as your wife, so please don’t make the mistake of waiving your father’s rights because you remember the way things were when you were growing up. Your children deserve to have you in your life and the best way to make that happen is to stand up for yourself during the divorce process.