The upbringing and care of a child belong equally to both parents when two people have a child together. Whether or not a couple is married, they have an equal right to decide what happens to their child and how they raise it. So what about the parenting rights of fathers?
If you are going through a separation or divorce, it’s important that your children feel safe, loved, and supported. A common misconception is that fathers do not have equal rights to custody. Is there a bias in custody laws that favor mothers? Is custody also available to single fathers? Can the father claim spousal support in addition to the mother? We’ll examine each question separately.
Parenting Rights Of Fathers: Child Custody Rights
Having custody means being able to make important decisions about how your child will be raised. As part of the child’s custody, parents have the right to make decisions regarding the child’s religion, education, and medical care. Child custody includes several types:
1) Sole Custody: A parent with sole custody of a child has the authority and responsibility of unilaterally making major decisions regarding the health and welfare of that child.
2) Joint Custody: The term joint custody in Ontario refers to when both parents share the rights and responsibilities of custody despite living apart. The custody arrangement, in this case, provides both parents equally important decision-making power over their children.
3) Shared Custody: It refers to the time a child spends with each parent when determining each parent’s parenting obligation.
4) Split Custody: This occurs when both parents have children, and each parent primarily takes care of one or more of the children.
Is Custody Also Available To Single Fathers?
It is an unfounded myth that a single father has no right to custody.
There is no distinction under the law between married and unmarried fathers. According to The Children’s Law Reform Act, the best interest of the child is to be considered in deciding whether an application for custody is meritorious. Single fathers are not excluded from the decision-making process. Based on the father’s marital status, the court will consider the factors listed above and determine how they will address the parenting rights of fathers.
Do Unmarried Fathers Have the Same Rights as Married Fathers?
Most places practice the tradition of always having the mother as the first guardian of the child. Regardless of whether a mother is married or unmarried, this remains the case.
Nevertheless, fathers may not always enjoy the same privileges as mothers. The rights of an unmarried father are different from those of the parenting rights of fathers. A shared mother will gain custody in the event of a separation. Before he can claim custody of his child, a father who is unmarried must prove his paternity. A father who cannot prove paternity has no claim to say anything about his child’s life. This includes paying child support as well. In other words, unmarried fathers are not legally obligated to pay support during separation like married fathers.
Important Legal Terms about Parenting Rights Of Fathers
1) Guardianship: It is a court-ordered arrangement when a court appoints someone to care for a minor child and decides about the child’s education, support, and maintenance.
2) Father’s Rights and Access: A child and parent can have access to spend time together if they choose to do so. In spite of the fact that they may not be able to make decisions, parents with access have a right to information about their child’s education, health, and well-being.
3) Child’s Best Interest: When it comes to child custody decisions, looking out for the child’s “best interests” means ensuring that all discussions and decisions pertaining to custody and visitation favor the child’s wellbeing, security, mental health, and emotional development into adulthood.
Protect Parenting Rights Of Fathers with Hussain Law
Make sure you are in control of your fate, not a judge. Divorce can be emotionally and financially draining and extremely unpredictable. Protect parenting rights of fathers with the right lawyer who can provide you with family law solutions tailored to you.
At Hussain Law, we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time.
If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain (Family Lawyer Toronto) at 647-428-3919.