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Fathers fight for equal custodial rights

Just after the day that recognizes fathers, Illinois Fathers gathered outside the Capitol to observe what they deemed “Fatherless Day.” Fathers’ rights organizations throughout the United States participate in this day in an attempt to raise awareness regarding fathers’ rights issues and problems, such as the disproportionate awarding of child custody, traveling to see their children and custody battles.

Illinois Fathers is a group of non-custodial parents and grandparents who encourage co-parenting. They hope to influence lawmakers to acknowledge the difficult paths that these fathers face. Court systems may dictate the terms of a father’s relationship with his children, between child support orders, the need to travel and custody battles. Some fathers state that they feel that they always have to prove themselves to courts. Other fathers claim that the court systems favor mothers.

However, a judge for the Sangamon County family division says that the court has no presumption that children belong with their mother. He says that judges must consider what is in the best interest of the child. He also stated that he has heard repeated testimony from experts who say that frequent contact between the child and both of his or her parents is the most critical thing in determining a custodial schedule. However, fathers believe that there is a stigma against them that they are trying to avoid paying child support. At the same time, mothers can receive incentives to have the father out of children’s lives, such as food stamps, medical benefits and Section 8.

Chicago family law attorneys assist non-custodial parents in seeking custody or visitation with their children. They may be able to help the parents reach an amicable decision that is geared toward the best interest of the child that will allow the child to have more time with each parent.

Source: Illinois Times, “Fatherless Day“, Jacqueline Muhammad, June 13, 2013