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Fathers' rights matter in family law cases

With many children honoring their fathers on the recent Father's Day, fathers who are divorced, separated or have children but do not have primary physical custody of their children are likely grateful they could enjoy some time with their children. However, many fathers across the country may wonder what sort of child custody and child support arrangement a family court will come up for them or how they can modify child custody arrangements in order to spend more time with their children.

Michigan residents probably know that in today's society the role of the father in a family unit has changed. Some believe that fathers need to be empowered in the family law system and they should not accept the traditional parenting-time schedule.

In fact, many family law firms who are advocating for fathers' rights in court point to a research study where fathers are deemed to be important for a child's physical and emotional well-being. Furthermore, a Pew Research Center study found that a couple of years ago in 2012 nearly two million fathers claimed to be stay-at-home dads. The study attributed this high number of fathers staying at home to the fact that men may be unable to find employment. Additionally, in a two income household, typically the fathers tended to lose their job and ended up staying home and taking over parenting duties.

When it comes to child custody arrangements another study found that between 1986 and 2008 sole custody being awarded to mothers decreased dramatically, from about 80 to 42 percent. Furthermore, shared child custody arrangements were up from about 5 percent to nearly 27 percent.

Given this shift in the family paradigm, many fathers are unwilling to lose custody of their child. Even though every family law case is different and may present unique circumstances, it is nevertheless important to get the most accurate information about the available options when it comes to these important family law issues.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday," Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014

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