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Fathers, child custody and fighting for rightful parenting time

When parents divorce, it is often the children who experience the most significant impact. Naturally, you want to protect your kids from experiencing undue hardship and emotional trauma, and one way you can do this is by providing your children with a sensible custody plan. Kids benefit when allowed regular access to both parents and as much continuity of lifestyle as possible.

For some Illinois families, providing children with a smart custody situation comes in the form of joint custody. While many parents choose this arrangement for themselves, courts are now more likely to prefer this type of arrangement over other options. As a result, it is now more likely for fathers to get equitable parenting time, but it is still common for a dad to have to fight for a final order that is reasonable and sustainable.

Cultural changes and their impact on family life

Previously, courts favored the mother, often granting her full custody. As a result, fathers would only have weekend visitation or occasional overnight visits. It was unfair to fathers, who play a critical role in the emotional well-being of their children and their upbringing. Thankfully, more people recognize the importance of shared custody and allowing the kids to be with both parents.

As you may know, fathers still have to be intentional about protecting their parental rights in a divorce. If you are walking through this process, it may help you to consider the following:

  • Seeking joint custody often means parents will share legal custody, which is the right to make decisions for the child, as well as physical custody.
  • Parenting time that is exactly equal is not common, but a father has the right to pursue a final schedule that allows him a fair amount of time with his kids.
  • It is possible to arrange a meaningful joint custody plan out of court through negotiations, discussions and working together with the other parent. 

You have a vital role in the life of your child, and you have the right to fight for the preservation of that relationship. While joint custody is not the right choice in every situation, it could be a smart option for your family.

How can you know if it's right? 

It is not always easy to determine if joint custody is the right choice or how you can proceed with protecting your right to have a strong presence in the life of your child. Custody issues are complex, even when parents resolve to work together to come to an agreement out of court. One smart step for you is to seek experienced legal guidance as you make important decisions that will impact your future and pursue an agreement that will affect your kids for years to come.

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