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Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

How Can Fathers Protect Their Rights to Child Custody?

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton fathers' rights lawyerFor parents, the divorce process can be incredibly stressful. Not only are you divorcing from your parenting partner and former spouse, but you are facing a great deal of uncertainty about your living situation and the time you will spend with your children. For fathers, securing a favorable parenting agreement can often be difficult. Whether you are looking to negotiate a custody agreement with your former spouse or planning to fight for your parental rights in court, an experienced attorney can help you navigate your child custody case. 

Winning Custodial Rights

Due to recent alterations to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, divorced parents are no longer defined as “custodial” or “non-custodial.” Under the current law, specific parental responsibilities are allocated between parents through either an agreement between the parties or a court order. Below are some simple steps that every father should take as they look to secure substantial parental responsibilities:

  • Prove Financial Security: If disputes over child custody and parenting time must be resolved in court, it is important to demonstrate that you have the financial stability to provide for your children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, custodial fathers are much less likely to fall under the poverty line than custodial mothers. In 2014, only 17.4% of custodial fathers were under the poverty line. Financial security can prove to a judge that you will be able to handle the responsibilities of independent parenting. 
  • Be Available: In order to secure significant parenting time and parental responsibilities, it is important for you to be as engaged as possible when it comes to your children. Fathers are often viewed as secondary to a child’s development, due to common misconceptions related to their commitment to parenthood. By consistently displaying interest in your child’s academic performance and extracurricular activities and being closely involved in their lives, you can improve your chances of a favorable child custody decision. 
  • Hire the Right Attorney: While custodial laws have changed here in the state of Illinois, the perception of a mother as the primary parent has not. In 2014, only one in every six custodial parents were fathers. Due to the difficulties that fathers can face in securing parental responsibilities, it is crucial to hire the right lawyer. As you select the attorney that will assist you throughout your divorce, you should inquire about their years of legal experience, their prior success in cases, and their ability to aggressively litigate in court. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can make all the difference in protecting your parental rights. 

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Lawyer 

As you navigate the divorce process, it is common to experience a range of emotions. Parents will have to grapple with the reality of separating from someone they once loved and the possibility of losing time spent with their children. Winning custody rights as a father can be especially difficult. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to assisting you in developing a parenting plan that will ensure that you can remain a part of your child’s life. If your ex-spouse is unwilling to work cooperatively to develop a parenting plan that can work for both parties, we are prepared to aggressively represent you in court. To schedule an initial meeting with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney, call us today at 630-462-9500. 

Sources:

https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/P60-255.pdf

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