paternity cases, the courts won’t issue orders until the child is born. By the time the court gives an order, the child has been with his or her mother and has established a significant bond; in some cases, the courts are reluctant to interrupt the mother’s role as the child’s primary caretaker, which has already been established. (Again, the courts are acting in the child’s best interest, because decades of studies have shown that infants and toddlers need a continued bond with their primary caretaker – but in these cases, the father is often left in the cold.)
When you’re a marginalized father, knowing why isn’t likely to make you feel better. The fact remains that you didn’t have a fair shot, and that’s exactly why you need an experienced Milwaukee fathers’ rights attorney in your corner.
What Are Fathers’ Rights During Divorce?
During a divorce, the landscape is a little different than it is for paternity cases. Fathers’ rights during divorce are essentially the same as mothers’ rights.
Although a child’s bond with his or her primary caretaker is still very important, the courts recognize that children benefit most from healthy relationships with both parents. The courts will consider several factors if you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement about legal custody (who gets the right to make major decisions about the children) or physical placement (the time your children are in each parent’s care).
Typically, both parents share legal custody and physical placement. (Joint legal custody is typically presumed unless there’s a specific agreement stating otherwise, or when the court has a reason to grant one parent sole custody.)
The law says that children should have a schedule that involves regularly occurring and meaningful periods of placement, maximizing the time kids spend with each parent.
If you and your spouse can’t agree, the courts will look at each parent’s ability to care for the kids, what the parents (and sometimes children) want, and the family relationships the children have. The courts will also look at the availability of childcare, past parenting time, and the level of cooperation between you and your spouse, as well as a few other things, to make a decision.
Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Family Law Attorney About Fathers’ Rights?
If you have questions about fathers’ rights, or if you’d like to talk to an attorney about your case, please call us at 414-383-6700 or 262-650-6700 for a free case review. We’ll evaluate your situation and offer you case-specific legal advice that helps you begin moving forward with your children.