Times have changed in Louisiana and throughout the nation. Depending on your age, you may recall the days when most fathers worked at jobs outside the home and mothers stayed home full-time to raise children. Those days are all but long-term memories across a changing landscape of life in the United States. Nowadays, many children are raised in single parent households. Dads sometimes are the ones staying home while mothers pursue full-time careers. No two families are exactly the same.
There’s really no such thing as a typical family life anymore. The needs and goals of individual families vary greatly and the same can be said for those adapting to life after divorce. Along with changes in parenting and family life, the court has also evolved in the way it makes decisions regarding such matters as child custody, visitation and other important issues.
Fathers have rights
One of the major changes that has occurred in the decision-making process of the nation’s family courts is that laws now acknowledge and protect fathers’ rights more diligently than they did in the past. Gone are the days when most judges automatically ruled in favor of mothers when assigning custody of children in divorce. State laws vary, but the following list is comprised of general guidelines currently used to discern what’s best for children in most custody situations:
- Because parenting involves finances, a top concern of the court when deciding matters of custody and child support is income. Generally speaking, the court would carefully review your income and that of your former spouse before the court determines where children will live and who, if anyone, will pay child support.
- Your physical health and mental condition, as well as your former spouse’s, are also top factors of consideration in such situations.
- Many fathers wish to be fully active in their children’s lives, a vast difference from long-ago portraits of average American families where working fathers were distant figureheads who ruled their roosts from afar. Nowadays, most fathers want to be involved in their children’s daily lives and are willing to emotionally, physically and financially support them in all areas.
- Courts take into account the opinions of both parents when they rule on custody, visitation and support matters.
If you have concerns regarding possible abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, or any other matter that might be detrimental to children, you can bring those issues to the immediate attention of the court. Many people choose to act alongside experienced representation when doing so.
A Louisiana family law attorney experienced in fathers’ rights advocacy can help you determine how best to proceed to protect your rights as a father and see to it that your children’s best interests remain a central focal point in all court proceedings.