Divorce And Child Custody: Do Men Get A Fair Shake These Days?
Many parents these days find it difficult to find that right life-balance when it comes to juggling career, child support, and shared custody after divorce. Recently, CNN ran an interesting piece focusing on some perspectives of fathers, in particular, who feel that the system has let them down. Some of these fathers have spent time in jail because they were unable to pay court-ordered child support; gone bankrupt; or even been altogether barred from seeing their children due to civil protection orders. And not all of them ended up in custody battles due to divorce: some learned all too late that they had fathered children but were excluded from the child’s birth certificate.
According to the statistics, even today, more than 80 percent of custodial parents are mothers. Does this mean that men automatically do not get a fair shake when it comes to custody cases? Laws in states like Florida and elsewhere were supposed to prevent this phenomenon by focusing on what is in the best interests of the child. Still, that doesn’t mean that men do not sometimes get the short end of the stick due to judges’ traditional perspectives. Below, we offer some insight on how fathers can avoid acrimonious outcomes in circumstances like these.
Paying Child Support
Even if you cannot pay the total amount of child custody you have been ordered to do so, make sure that you pay something. If you fail to do so, you most definitely risk jail time.
Remember that you can only reduce your child support payments by getting yourself in front of a judge, so work with a good attorney, and be patiently persistent. When it comes to communicating with the judge, your attorney will know how to do it and save you potentially suffering from the bias that can sometimes accompany the judge having to deal with someone who doesn’t know the law (i.e. you). Paying child support is an important part of the legal system, and judges expect parents to do whatever they can to financially support their children; however, they do understand that people lose their jobs and times can be tough, and they will sometimes consider modifying child support agreements, given some circumstances.
While it may seem like women have the upper hand when it comes to custody if two people have a child out of wedlock, keep in mind that men can “catch up.” A father should file what’s known as legitimation papers in order for the court to establish that naming him as the father officially is in the best interests of the child.
Contact Our Florida Divorce & Child Custody Attorneys
If you live in Florida and are seeking legal advice on any divorce issue, contact our experienced Tampa family law attorneys at HD Law Partners today to find out how we can help. We have offices in Fort Myers, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and Wesley Chapel.