When couples decide to marry, it is not with the expectation that they will eventually divorce. Marriages are built on love, trust, honesty, and mutual admiration. Unfortunately, as the marriage progresses, these values can become stagnant, and the little things become big things. The end result could be the eventual divorce. Ending a marriage often raises more questions than it provides answers, particularly for couples who share children. For many fathers, it can seem like an uphill battle in a divorce, not only for the division of property but in spousal support expectations and even child custody and child support. If you are a divorcing father, you may need a fathers’ rights attorney in Anaheim.
At Moranda Law Firm, APC we recognize the exhaustive worry and stress that divorce can put upon families, particularly fathers. We understand fathers may experience certain fears such as the fear that he will receive a less favorable settlement in a divorce because there is an assumption they make more money, fear that they will receive a less favorable custody orders based on the misconception that the mothers are better bonded with the children, or fear that the father may be blamed as the cause of the divorce. However, our attorneys know this simply isn’t true. Backed by years of experience and California law, we work to ensure fathers receive the fair and equitable outcome they deserve.
California is a no-fault divorce state which means that couples can choose to separate for any reason without any legal proof of wrongdoing. Because of this, California law seeks to provide equal distribution of all assets, debts, and property as both spouses have equal claim to both, whether by direct finances or support of the other. California law says in Family Code 3010 that couples who are divorcing and have children should still each remain an equal part of the child’s life, whether through shared custody or a structured visitation schedule.
Unfortunately for many fathers, the role of a mother is sometimes biasedly viewed as a more important role because of the assumptions about emotional development, nurturing, and traditional caregiving. Legally, however, there is no distinction between the importance of both the mother and the father. Research has shown that when children have the involvement of both of their parents, they perform better in school and have more meaningful relationships throughout their own lives.
Your role as a father is important not only to you but to the development of your child, as all parents want their children to grow to their maximum potential. When you and your spouse enter into the divorce process, you should remain cognizant of your rights so that, working with your attorney, you can make informed decisions. You have the right to:
There may be situations where the mother attempts to keep the child from the other parent. In these situations, it was imperative to hire an attorney immediately to obtain a court order and protect your parenting rights. These situations are typically highly complex and high conflict cases and require the services of a skilled and experienced divorce attorney to navigate.It is important to marshall the facts and properly present them to the judge to obtain favorable orders.
If a couple is divorcing prior to the child’s birth, the father may request paternity and child custody orders to be filed with the court before the child is born.
If the mother is keeping the child away from you without a court order, you can:
If the mother is not refusing visitation, but you are unhappy with the arrangements of custody or visitation, you have the right to file a request for a court order to change the arrangements.
Both fathers and mothers have equal rights in any divorce proceedings. California seeks to provide equitable arrangements for all parties involved, including spousal support, property division, and child custody and support. For child support and custody, the court will look to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child, but parents are encouraged to agree on a parenting plan without the assistance of the court.
Unless there is a court order in place to the contrary, your rights as a father are the same through a divorce as they are while you are married. You have a right to assist with medical decisions for your child, to be involved in their life, to have a say in their religious views, to be involved in their schooling, and to make decisions on behalf of your child. These rights, amongst others, are provided to both parents.
California does not make custody or support decisions based on any personal identifier such as race, gender, or religion. A father and mother have equal rights to be involved in their child’s life. While fathers may face an uphill battle, it is not uncommon for fathers to obtain equal parenting time with their children. It is important to properly present your case as to why this is in the best interest of your child.
For either parent, full custody is centered in Family Code 3040, which seeks to provide custody that is in the best interest of the child. In California, there is no presumption for or against sole or joint custody. The court will consider many factors in determining what custodial orders to make including, “which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent.” Whether a father gets full custody will be determined by the facts of the case and how those facts are presented to the judge.
While stigmas surrounding fathers may exist, the law grants you the same parental rights as your child’s mother. As with anything, rights come with responsibilities, such as providing for your child financially, assisting with proper medical treatments, and ensuring they attend and are successful in school. California sees the responsibilities as legally equal and therefore works to help both parents remain an active part of their child’s life, regardless of gender. If you are a father facing a divorce, you need a team on your side that will help keep your rights at the forefront so that you are treated fairly and equitably and help reach an agreement in the best interest of your child.
At Moranda Law Firm, APC our knowledgeable and experienced team understands the law and how to help fathers through the difficulties of a divorce or any other legal issue that involves their children. Contact our offices today and let our decade of experience help you reach the outcome you deserve.