Child Custody – Fathers’ Right

By Laura Ellerbe

Of everything you face during your divorce, no issue is more emotional or more important than establishing your custody and visitation schedule. Fair or not, mothers seem to be granted more share time with their children than fathers. As a result, many fathers are at a loss when it comes to defending their parental rights.

If the mother’s level of control of the children becomes unreasonable, so as to interfere with the father’s time with his children, then the father’s rights have been violated. Parents are legally obligated to adhere to the conditions of the visitation schedule. A parent who knowingly prevents or interferes with this court order may be considered to be in contempt of court. In some cases, this may lead to an appearance before a judge to explain why this happened, or a change (modification) in the visitation schedule.

Fathers’ rights are outlined clearly in the divorce decree and parenting agreement. Some common parental rights that fathers are frequently denied are: the right to visit their children during the appointed hours, as detailed in the visitation order. Fathers also have the right to plan and schedule activities during this time. Most importantly, fathers have the right to be free of irrational demands and/or threats from their ex-wives during this time.

If your visitation rights are violated, there are steps you may take. Fathers may obtain an injunction to prevent the mother from moving with the children without giving proper notice. Fathers may also alert the police if the mother’s actions are interfering with his visitation time with his children. Most importantly, fathers may ask the court to modify the original child custody and visitation order. Modifying the custody plan will allow you to expand your visitation schedule, allowing you more quality time with your children.

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