Dads have custody rights too

Your ex is moving states away with the beautiful child you both made. You work yourself into a complete frenzy.

Go after them.

Wait.

Call the police for kidnapping.

Seriously?

My coworker confessed this. But his story is all too familiar.  He is one of many parents who is ripped from their children during divorces or breakups.

Family courts replace the happy home our families once had.

You’re frustrated and helpless after grueling custody battles. All this legal stuff becomes fuzzier. Summons this, and petition that. Arraignment is set.

There’s a clear perception around custody. Mothers have natural rights to the children. They possess most, if not all, of the physical and legal custody.

As it is clear women possess much more patience than their male counterparts. It comes with the maternal instinct, women intuition and the like.

Dads are granted custodial rights through the courts. But socially, we are still at a disadvantage. We shrink this by becoming familiar with the process and knowing your legal rights.

The Split

I could feel my co-worker’s pain. The sadness filled my heart from the way he mopped about after his ex-wife moved. I know the look. He misses his son.

Moms automatically get sole custody of the children during the earlier years. This has been in the back of our minds since the beginning of time.

Whenever the mother and father split, she historically got the kids. The kids rarely get to see us and the distance grows. Resentment, also.

Our kids suffer throughout the entire ordeal. Meanwhile, the courts usually appoint custody and visitation.

This custody thing is a big issue.

Paternal rights in Michigan

Presently in Michigan, gender isn’t a factor in deciding custody of a child or visitation.

And most importantly, for your paternal rights!

Married dads have it a little easier than their unwed counterparts when it comes to gaining any custody.

Its assumed since you’re married, YOU ARE THE FATHER! (Maury Povich voice)

Unwed dads have 2 ways to establish paternity:

A voluntary affidavit of parentage

or

An involuntary court order

More legal jargon. Either you will willingly be a father or summoned to be.

Legal and physical custody are separate rights. Legal custody grants the custodial parent permission to make legal decisions for the child.

But physical custody is just as it looks. Where is the child majority of the time? Sometimes, they are looked at as one in the same.

This should not be. While the dad has joint physical custody, he might not be able to make any legal decision for his child.

Most decisions about the welfare of your child are left up to the mother. This would mean she had sole custody.

And you wonder why your kid doesn’t know you.

There should always be an agreement of joint custody, unless one or both the parents are deemed as unfit parents.

If this arrangement can’t be met, you’ll be just like my coworker.

Sad, lost and confused. I’m talking about the kids of course.

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