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Parental rights: Why do fathers have to fight to see their kids?

In Texas and across the nation, there are fathers who feel ill-treated by the courts. After fighting hard to be allowed more time with his daughter, a father in another state realized that others were fighting similar battles. A group spanning 38 states was formed, and they are advocating for family court reform that will allow equal parental rights in all cases in which no legal reason exist to prevent fathers from seeing their children.

This father made it clear that they are not trying to discredit mothers; they merely want to be recognized as parents and have loving relationships with their children. Their aim is to get courts to regard joint custody of children as the norm without expecting fathers to fight for it. Granted, there are cases in which violence, mental illness, substance abuse and/or criminal activity can endanger children, but it is not necessarily the father posing the threat -- it may be the mother.

The group points out that caring fathers share the concerns of the courts and mothers regarding the best interests of the children. They believe the court should focus on fathers who are shirking their responsibilities rather than making it difficult for the responsible ones who want to be part of the lives of their children. Instead of being seen as visitors, these men want to be treated as the fathers they are.

Fathers in Texas whose parental rights are being denied do not have to fight this battle on their own. The skills of an experienced family law attorney may be invaluable. With the appropriate legal support and guidance, any father may be able to participate actively in every possible aspect of the lives of his children.

Source: warwickonline.com, "Fathers' rights: 'We're dads, not visitors'", Kelcy Dolan, May 31, 2016

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