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Fathers often get less time in custody battles

Some fathers in Minnesota may struggle during and after a divorce to get the same rights to their children that mothers do. One way mothers might do this is by using loopholes in the legal agreement to block access to the children or by fighting to take rights away from the father. For example, one father was granted the right to go to school events and medical appointments, but his ex-wife said that she did not have to tell him when those events were scheduled to happen. Fathers who are permitted to attend such events often feel the mother's word carries more weight then theirs.

Fathers may still fight for equal time with their children when courts are biased toward giving child custody to the mother. Fathers may also fight for needed extra time. For example, they might want to spend Father's Day with their children, or a soldier who has returned from deployment might want some extended time. In some cases, mothers may refuse this because the parenting agreement does not cover that exact situation.

Mothers may fight for physical custody during a divorce because they are afraid of losing their children. However, many divorced fathers do not fit the media stereotype of being unreliable, and they in most cases have as much right to spend time with their children as mothers do.

One way to combat this is to work hard on a detailed parenting agreement that both parties are satisfied with. Unfortunately, even an agreement reached through mediation can be used against a father depending on the wording. Not every situation can be anticipated, and if the other parent is not willing to cooperate, a father can find himself cut off from his children. If this occurs, the father may want to obtain the assistance of counsel in seeking to have the parenting agreement changed.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission