When it comes to child custody and preserving their relationship with their kids, dads sometimes have a more difficult time than mothers. In the past, California courts often showed preference to moms, leaving dads with only weekend visitation and limited access to their kids. Thankfully, that is not the case as often now, but it is still important for dads to be aware of their parental rights.
If you are a father facing a divorce and the potential for a complex custody battle, you may benefit from having a clear understanding of how custody works. This may be helpful in your pursuit of visitation or a specific type of custody plan. While the goal of any final order is to protect the best interests of the kids above all else, you still have the right to fight for your parental rights as well.
There are two main types of custody, legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions on behalf of his or her child. Physical custody refers to the amount of parenting time each parent will have. It is possible for parents to share joint physical custody while one retains legal custody, but some joint custody arrangements have parents share both types of custody equitably. The right decision depends on the needs of the kids and the details of the individual situation.
There is significant evidence that suggests children benefit when allowed to maintain regular contact with both parents after a divorce. A joint custody arrangement could be best for your kids, allowing them to have a strong relationship with you and their other parent. However, there are situations where it is truly in the best interests of the kids for one parent to have sole custody.
Where should you start?
Your fight for a fair custody order will start the moment you decide to move forward with divorce. It is in your interest to know as much as possible about your parental rights and how you can protect them at every step, as well as custody laws and procedures. It may not be easy, but your efforts could lead to a final order that will provide stability and security for your kids for years to come.