Are Men Treated Unfairly In Family Courts?
Many parents trying to balance their careers with child custody and support find this to be a difficult balance to strike after divorce. CNN recently ran a piece on how some fathers, in particular, feel like the justice system has let them down in this respect. Some have spent time in jail because they couldn’t pay court-ordered child support; declared bankruptcy; even been barred from seeing their children due to a civil protection order. Sometimes these difficult circumstances can come about even when divorce wasn’t involved; for example, when someone learns too late that they fathered a child, but weren’t listed on the birth certificate and therefore have difficulty getting equal custody rights.
Even today, in the U.S., 80 percent of the parents that kids live with most of the time are reportedly mothers. Does this mean that the law automatically favors giving mother custody? In states like Florida (and many others), the law was specifically written to avoid this, and, instead, focus on what is in the best interests of the child. Still, some believe that judges’ personal bias cannot be avoided, and that primary custody is awarded to mothers in a number of cases each year.
Below, we discuss some tips on how parents can avoid potentially acrimonious outcomes if they are struggling to deal with some of these issues:
Make Sure You Pay Child Support, No Matter What
First and foremost, even if you cannot pay the amount of child support you have been ordered to pay by the courts, always make sure that you pay something. You won’t be able to eventually reduce those payments unless you can get in front of a judge, so be persistent (politely), and make sure that you work with an experienced attorney so that you do not risk being affected by any bias a judge might have against dealing with someone who is not familiar with family law and the courts. Remember that child support is very important to the courts, and, regardless of personal circumstances and how tough times are, judges expect parents to do what it takes to financially support their kids.
And if you have had a child out of wedlock, while the woman who bears the child starts out with custody, fathers can catch up. You will want to work with an attorney to file legitimation papers and ask that the court establish you as the child’s father because it is in the child’s best interests.
Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorneys
At the Arwani Law Firm, we pride ourselves on working for the betterment of families. We will help you to work out an arrangement that best reflects what is in the best interests of your child, as well as within your own reasonable financial circumstances. Contact us at the Arwani Law Firm, PLLC today to find out more.