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What are my rights as a dad in divorce?

What are my rights as a dad in divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | Family Law

Few things will make a man feel as insecure about his relationship with his beloved children as an upcoming divorce. There is a cultural myth that just won’t die that makes men think divorce will be inherently unfair to them.

Plenty of fathers in Louisiana might even stay in a marriage that makes them unhappy because they worry about losing custody. If you are a father considering divorce or if you have recently been served paperwork by your spouse, you likely desperately want to sort out what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to the rights of a dad.

What are your rights as a father in Louisiana going through a divorce while his children are still minors?

Fathers capable of parenting safely have a right to request custody

The idea that the courts have an inherent bias against one parent in favor of the other is not true. Individual judges may have personal biases, but the law in Louisiana is clear. Custody rules do not discuss the sex of the parents or name their roles as mother or father when talking about custody.

The focus instead is on the best interests of the children. The presumption of shared custody is standard in most modern Louisiana divorces if parents don’t set their own terms. A judge may deviate from that if there is documentation of abuse, addiction or other issues that might impede someone’s parenting. In fact, you have the right to ask for sole custody if your ex has issues that would stop her from being a good parent. 

You have the right to ask for enforcement if your ex won’t give you access

Some people use the children like bargaining chips or even weapons during a divorce. They may withhold time with the children if their ex falls behind on child support or otherwise try to manipulate the relationship between their ex and the kids.

Parental alienation or custodial interference are serious issues that don’t just undermine the authority of the family courts but also the mental health of the children involved. If your ex refuses to give you court-ordered parenting time, documenting every missed visit or shortened parenting opportunity can help you show the courts a pattern of behavior that affects your parental rights and the relationship you have with the kids.

You could request enforcement efforts or even a modification that gives you more parenting time because of your ex’s inappropriate behavior. Pushing for a fair custody order in the divorce is possible, and you will also have the right to request a modification when your circumstances change in the future. With the right focus, you can protect your relationship with your kids no matter how stressful the divorce becomes.