Society goes through changes, and the legal system is pressed to keep up with changing times. Such is also the case with Fathers Rights.
Today, cases that involve children of unmarried parents are the most difficult cases for fathers who want to obtain equal custody rights. Recently, Actor Jason Patric (best known for his role in the movie The Lost Boys) has been high profile in the news over his custody battle for his son. Patric and his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Schrieber conceived a son together in vitro. Patric was denied custody by a lower court in L.A., and has not seen his four-year old son for more than 60 weeks. Schrieber argues he was merely a sperm donor, and Patric argues the intent to be a parent, as seen in his signed documents for the in vitro fertilization. If the outcome of this case is in Patric’s favor, it could mark a significant victory for Fathers’ Rights and be a precedent-setting ruling.
That laws are changing to equalize custody for fathers is a substantiated fact. A recent Wall Street Journal (MSJ) article indicated that 20 states are considering changing their laws to protect fathers’ rights. Some of the changes under consideration include awarding equal time to both parents unless evidence exists that such an arrangement is not in the child’s best interests. A psychology professor at Wake Forest University was quoted as saying that unless the father shares in activities like ensuring his children get their homework done and waking them up for school in the morning, his role is more like an uncle who is good for Wednesday dinners and weekend overnights.
A Slate article recently quoted some statistics from a child custody survey done in Wisconsin that shows the progress of the Fathers Rights movement over the past few decades:
- Between 1996 and 2007, the percentage of divorce cases in which the mother received sole custody dropped from 60.4 to 45.7 percent
- The same survey showed the percentage of equal shared custody cases doubled from 15.8 to 30.5
- The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers report 56 percent of divorce lawyers see an increase of mothers paying child support
If you’re dealing with custody issues, consult with an experienced family law attorney. Our lawyers at C.E. Borman & Associates can discuss your rights as a father and the prospects for pursuing a case.