In each state, in Indiana and across the nation, there has been an acute focus over the last several years on Father’s rights to custody of their children. Law is slow to change and remnants of the “tender years presumption” continued pushing father’s rights groups harder. The tender years presumption is a older legal policy that children of a young or tender year should be in the care and custody of their mother in a divorce.
There are five key aspects of father’s rights, namely a father obtaining custody of his children in a divorce or paternity case, set into the law. These are covered in this blog post.
First, now across the Country, including Indiana, the gender neutral presumption has taken hold in policy and is the law. This means that going in to a custody case, a trial court presumes children of any age were properly placed in the custody of either parent. Many fathers argue this is not the case because statistically speaking, Mother’s appear to receive custody more often than fathers do. However, this may be accounted for by the fact the mother still provides the lion’s share of care for infants. All competent and focused divorce attorneys have obtained custody in favor of father’s.
Coinciding with the general neutral presumption is the second point, the trend of litigants seeking joint physical custody. This may be week-on, week-off or 3-2-2-3, 4-3-4-3 (days) alternating. Assuming the parties agree or the court orders this, the time is determined on school needs, distance between the parents and the like. A key of this blog is providing you with ideas to think about to consider with your attorney if you seek joint custody as a Father or sole physical custody.
A third and very important key to father’s obtaining custody is the radical shift in composition of our work force. Most parents, now work in some capacity during the marriage. No longer can a spouse (primarily mother in decades past) claim they are so connected with the children because they are the primary daily caregiver. Both parents may work. And a father may work at home. These are key pieces of evidence to highlight if you seek sole or joint custody as a father.
Fourthly, these legal and social trends have made their way into the mindset of the judiciary and lawyers who now see the reality that joint physical custody or sole physical custody for a father may be in the children’s best interests. Understanding all of these key points and being able to relay these to your counsel is the first step for a father seeking custody. In other words, be able to explain to your attorney why this is your situation.
Whether you seek sole physical custody as a father in a divorce case or custody modification, the law embraces this legal policy so long as it is in the children’s best interests. The best way to be able to reach this goal or legal objective is understanding this and properly explaining it to your attorney. With this, it will help you identify key facts and situations that show you as a father can (and have been?) the primary caregiver for the children.