As a father, you have rights to your children. Do not ever allow somebody to tell you otherwise or make you feel like you somehow have less of a right to custody of your children than their mother has. New York’s child custody law does not specify gender when it discusses how custody is to be determined. However, biases in court and among parents often keep men from fully exercising their rights as fathers.
Fathers’ Rights are Parental Rights
A father has the following rights:
- The right to seek custody or visitation with a child;
- The right to maintain a healthy, consistent relationship with the child;
- The right to establish a child support order for the child;
- The right to seek a modification to an existing child support or custody order; and
- The right to claim the child as a dependent on tax returns and insurance policies.
As you can see, these are identical to a mother’s rights. Despite this, courts sometimes assume that a father is less involved in his child’s life than the child’s mother because of outdated notions about gender roles and the division of parental duties in a household.