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Fathers still seeking fair child custody arrangements

Advocates for fathers' rights say they have seen significant improvements in divorces involving children. In the past 20 years, child custody cases have become more focused on the best interests of the child, and many parents are willing to set aside their differences and work for that goal. However, studies show that many divorced dads are still fighting for regular, adequate contact with their children. While the situation may be improving, some feel there are still too many disadvantages that keep fathers in Louisiana separated from their children.

One major stumbling block for many fathers is money. Because of child support obligations, many fathers have little cash left to establish a home for their children. One man explained that his time with his children is limited because there is simply no space for them in his tiny home, and he cannot afford to buy a bigger place. Some advocates for fathers' rights also feel that restraining orders and accusations of domestic violence are overused in family court and often force already struggling fathers into expensive rehabilitation programs.

Being separated from their children and the battle many undertake to gain fair custody takes a toll on fathers. Divorced fathers frequently deal with depression and suicidal tendencies. Children also suffer from the separation. Studies show that children tend to stay in school and avoid many destructive behaviors if both parents spend quality time with them.

Statistics show that only one in six fathers is given primary child custody. Fathers' rights advocates are working to change what they say is an antiquated notion that fathers are inferior parents compared to mothers. In order to precipitate that change, many fathers in Louisiana rely on attorneys who work to defend the rights of fathers to be with their children.

Source: wsbt.com, "Divorced fathers seek more time with their children", Katlin Connin, Nov. 21, 2016

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