A child’s mother is no longer the presumed primary caregiver having sole responsibility regarding the important decisions in his or her life. In recent decades, fathers are ready, willing, and able to assist with all aspects of raising children, including the financial obligations. New York State laws reflect the reality of the modern family, providing fathers with the same rights as mothers when it comes to child custody, visitation, and support. At times, however, there may be challenges for fathers who want to exercise these rights.

Our attorneys at The Colwell Law Group are dedicated to helping fathers overcome the legal obstacles they face when seeking to play an important role in their children’s lives. We have more than two decades of combined experience advocating for clients in fathers’ rights cases, and thorough knowledge of the relevant laws in New York. Family law is our core practice area, so you know you can trust our lawyers to protect your rights as a father.

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New York Law on Fathers’ Rights Regarding Minor Children

Ideally, you could come to an agreement with your child’s other parent on living arrangements, decision-making, and financial obligations; New York State law will step in if you are unable to compromise on custody, visitation, and support. A court is required to account for the child’s best interests in making a determination, which requires review of such statutory factors as:

  • Each parent’s financial situation and ability to provide for the child’s needs;
  • The child’s relationship with other individuals in either household, including siblings;
  • Any history or threat of domestic abuse;
  • The mental well-being and physical health of each parent;
  • The child’s wishes, if he or she demonstrates an appropriate level of maturity; and,
  • Other factors as designated by law.

Taking on the Tough Challenges in Fathers’ Rights Matters

Note that state law does not include gender in the child’s best interests factors for purposes of custody, visitation, or support. Nonetheless, fathers still face challenges. From a practical standpoint, mothers may have the edge because of common convention or convenience: They are often in charge of raising children born to married parents, and the mother is often the primary caregiver when a child is born out of wedlock.

Though tradition may favor the mother, an Ulster County Family Court judge must give weight to all factors of the child’s best interests standard. In general, these interests are served when a child enjoys a relationship with both parents. Children also perform better in school and are more emotionally adjusted when their fathers play an active role in their lives.

Ulster County Attorneys Fighting for Fathers’ Rights

You do have rights as a father and, if they are in jeopardy because of a dispute with the child’s mother, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our legal professionals at The Colwell Law Group, LLC can explain legal strategies to enforce your fathers’ rights, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 518-864-0564. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

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