Task force teaches that fathers' rights matter in custody battles


According to a U.S. Census Bureau statistics, nearly one out three children lives in a household where their father is not present. To help fathers learn and understand what their legal rights and duties are, recently the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida, whose mission is to help include and encourage the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children, held a luncheon for fathers.

The focus of the task force luncheon was to advocate for fathers' rights, particularly fathers involved in custody disputes that feel they are not being allowed to be a part of their children's lives. Topics included child support, divorce, domestic violence and visitation or parenting plans. Rather than having fathers feel that they are on the losing side in court when it comes to custody issues, the task force provided fathers with resources to understand the legal system better.

The founder of the task force noted that many fathers simply give up and do not pursue their rights because they feel the legal system is against them. One father at the event noted that there are fathers who despite paying court ordered child support, do not have any contact with their children. However, attendees of the luncheon indicated that they feel more prepared to deal with the judicial system after partaking in the event.

Without a doubt it is important and in the best interest of children to have contact with both parents. A healthy relationship with fathers and spending equal time with them helps a child develop and grow emotionally and psychologically.

There are certain cases when having each parent share time equally with the child may not be in the best interest of the child. However, in general, Florida courts are cognizant of the importance and benefit for children to spend equal time with both parents. Fathers interested in learning about how their current custody or visitation arrangement can be changed to increase spending time with their children may want to consult with a family law attorney.

Source: Miami Herald, "Fatherhood task force educates dads in custody fights," Sanah Faroke, Aug. 2, 2013

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