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Are fathers' rights violated in child custody decisions?

One of the hardest situations to cope with can be when a father or mother is deprived of the custody of his or her child. Not only may it lead to a complete breakdown in the relationship between the couple concerned, but it may also not be healthy for the child to be deprived of the benefit of being close to his or her parents while growing up.

However, at times, the law chooses to deprive a parent of child custody when it deems it to be in the best interests of the child. Such a decision may or may not be accompanied by a divorce or separation between the parents. However, despite a father's claim that he has equal rights to the mother, courts often end up awarding custody to the mother. According to groups advocating fathers' rights, joint custody is perhaps a better way of ensuring the welfare and overall development of the child.

Minnesota has previously tried to pass legislation that favored such joint custodial arrangements. However, unfortunately, the governor used his veto power to stop it right in its tracks. Other states have also tried something similar, but according to some, pressure groups have always tried to ensure that the idea does not turn into reality. Those that are not in favor of joint custody feel that in the event that the parents live too far apart, do not get along with each other or have differing ideas about how to bring up their child, awarding such joint custody may not be in the best interests of the child.

Given such widely differing positions regarding custodial matters, it is wise for the person to be aware of his or her legal rights regarding child custody. Parents who are struggling with issues of child custody may wish to seek the assistance of an experienced family law professionals who will ensure their rights are protected and all legal options are explained.

Source: New England Public Radio, "Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids?," Jennifer Ludden, Feb 26, 2014.

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