In general, a father has the same right to full custody of a child as the child’s mother. Men technically don’t face greater challenges when trying to achieve full custody. However, the man has historically been the “breadwinner” in American families. If a man has a highly demanding work schedule and the child is not yet school-aged, a family court may worry that the father will not have enough time to manage full custody of the child.
That being said, both parents have equally limited chances of getting full custody if they’re both working full time. It’s important to note that courts do not prefer to give custody to the mother; instead, they prefer for both parents to share custody.
Situations in Which a Father Can Expect Full Custody
A father is likely to be granted full custody of a child if he clearly is the only parent capable of financially supporting the child. Depending on the situation, if a father is seeking full custody and the child’s mother has no income or has a very low income, the father may be given full custody while the mother will only receive visitation rights.
A father seeking full custody will also likely be successful if his co-parent has a criminal record or has shown herself to be negligent of the child in the past.
A Father’s Obligations and Options
Either parent has the right to file for full custody in a child custody battle. Additionally, both parents have a right to petition the court for custody assistance if the parent feels that the proceedings are not in the child’s best interest.
However, a father will need to establish paternity to exercise this right. This is especially necessary in situations in which the two parents were not married when the child was born.
If you're looking for a men's divorce attorney to help you with your case or if you have any questions, contact Gerkin & Decker today!