Every parent has a right to parent their children

In the United States, the custody situation has improved. Slowly, family law courts in Missouri are growing accustomed to the prospect of father’s sharing equal rights with mothers after a divorce. While many judges still may have a bias towards mothers when it comes to child custody awards, and fathers have to aggressively assert their rights, the tide is beginning to shift.

In other nations, such as the United Kingdom, things are still very one sided. According to a recent story, 95 percent of mothers will be granted custody of their children and the fathers will be, in the blunt language of the UK Child Maintenance Service, “the paying parent.”

There are other problems. They lack the “no-fault” divorce that most states in the U.S. have adopted. This is a more important feature than many may suspect. For a couple with children, divorce is likely to be divisive enough without the need for them to allege some “fault” like adultery, alcoholism or domestic abuse.

Because it is important that both parents play a role in the lives of their children, forcing a finding of fault when a marriage relationship has failed and no one is to blame is unnecessary.

Both parents and their attorneys should work together to create a viable parenting plan that will ensure that the children feel loved and valued by each parent.

Such a plan can prevent conflict and properly set expectations, and by creating a routine where the children can be exchanged without drama, it can improve both the relationship of each child to their parents, but also may help promote the development of civil behavior between each parent.

Source:, “10 ways to make divorce fairer for fathers,” Glen Poole, January 4, 2015

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