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Melissa A. Featherston

Divorced dads should fight for fathers' rights

Getting a divorce is hard enough. Being torn from your children or told that you can only see them on weekends makes the process even more difficult. Fathers' rights are something that Missouri fathers should fight for and understand that just because they are the dad doesn't mean they aren't a good parent.

Many fathers in Missouri and throughout the country going through a divorce might have a preconceived notion that their soon to be ex-wife will automatically be granted full custody, and they will have to pay child support while only being able to see their children on weekends. They might fear that the kids will grow up with a distant father. Many times fathers want relationships with their children, but the court might be more inclined to give custody to their wife.

Custody battles can get complicated, and seem like a lost cause. Parents might have to answer embarrassing and sometimes irrelevant questions in depositions. One parent might see divorce and the custody issue as a way to get even with the other parent. This shouldn't be the case.

Fathers who love their children and pose no threat to the child's wellbeing should be able to rigorously fight for equal or full custody of their children. It's important not to get discouraged by stereotypes that judges always award custody to the woman. Judges will often take into consideration how the child feels, as well as their outside perspective as to where they think the child will get the best upbringing. Fathers' rights issues can be complex, but seeking out the help of an experienced Missouri family law attorney can help you understand your rights as a father and get the best custody agreement for your children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorced Dads Deserve Better," Ken Solin, Jan. 4, 2012

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