Traditionally, there has been a general presumption that mothers are the primary caregivers who do all the work related to raising children. As such, fathers often feel disadvantaged when fighting for custody or parenting time. Despite having equal rights, it can be extremely disheartening when the perception that fathers are less engaged parents influences the decisions made in family court. If you’re a father who is actively involved in the lives of your children, you will need to challenge this perception by taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your parental rights during a divorce. Please continue reading to learn the steps you can take as a father to protect your rights as a parent and how a determined Nassau County Fathers’ Rights Lawyer can help you today. 

What are my rights as a father?

Unfortunately, most fathers are unaware of what parental rights they have. In New York, the rights a father has are the same as the mother. Therefore, it’s a general rule that parents who end their relationship share joint custody even if the child’s primary residence is with the mother. The court recognizes that maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents is in a child’s best interest. Ultimately, the court’s primary concern is preserving the child’s best interests.

How can I safeguard my parental rights during a divorce?

Regardless of whether you’re undergoing a divorce or are an unmarried father, taking the necessary steps to safeguard your parental rights is vital. One of the first steps you should take as a father to protect your parental rights is establishing paternity as early as possible. If you do not establish paternity, you may forfeit your rights, or the court could take that as a lack of commitment to your child. In addition to establishing paternity, you should actively participate in your child’s life. Divorce can be especially difficult for children. Therefore, a father must maintain a strong relationship. Children benefit from the consistent involvement of both parents in their lives.

In addition, you should put your child’s needs first. Although it can be challenging to push your negative emotions about your ex to the side, it’s necessary to avoid conflict. You should make a reasonable effort to maintain civil communications with the other parent. Refrain from speaking negatively about your ex in front of your children, as they may feel pressured to pick a side, which can negatively impact their emotional well-being. It’s crucial to avoid using your child as a pawn. Instead, strive to co-parent. Furthermore, you should adhere to the court’s rulings as a father. If you fail to abide by the orders of your court, it can lead to severe consequences.

For more information on fathers’ rights, please don’t hesitate to enlist a skilled lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to help you protect your rights as a parent.