If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the first things you’ll likely discuss is how your children will be cared for. As a father, you may have to overcome biases to ensure that you receive a fair custody hearing. If you’re a Louisiana resident, here are some important things to know about fathers’ rights.
The Tender Years doctrine
Many of the reasons that fathers’ rights are compromised when it comes to custody and visitation are due to the Tender Years Doctrine. This doctrine was enacted in 1925 and was used as a way for family law courts to assess cases of separation and divorce when children are involved.
The Tender Years Doctrine indicates that children under 13 years of age were more likely to be more dependent on their mothers for parental care. According to this rule, most of the mothers who requested custody of their children were granted it. The doctrine began to phase out in the 1970s. During this time, the Best Interests doctrine had come into play. This doctrine indicates that a judge should rule in favor of what is best for the child(ren). However, many courts still believe the stereotype that fathers are the financial providers and mothers are the caregivers in most instances.
When it comes to fathers’ rights, many courts tend to automatically rule in favor of the mother. It has long been thought that the mother is more fit to care for children. Traditionally, women stayed in the home and cared for the children while the man worked outside of the home.
However, these days, things are changing. Many husbands are stay-at-home dads and care for their children while their wives work. Some men are also working from home which means they can take care of their kids while they maintain their careers. These are just a few of the reasons men who are interested in actively parenting their children after divorce should make an effort to convince the judge to rule for joint legal or physical custody depending on the options that work best for the family.