Berman & Asbel, LLP

Pennsylvania fathers may fight for child custody rights

Becoming a father can be one of the happiest moments in a Pennsylvania resident’s life. However, if the parent is divorced or was not married, gaining custody of that child may require going through legal proceedings. Though child custody has made strides in garnering toward more gender-equal outcomes, some fathers still feel that there may be bias in the court system.

Because mothers have a more physical and arguably emotional connection with giving birth and having a child, some individuals may believe that the mother should have more say in the decisions made for a child than the father. However, in some states, that could mean that a mother could put a child up for adoption or make other major decisions without the agreement of the father if the child was born out of wedlock. As a result, fathers with children born out of wedlock could have a more difficult time in being granted custody.

Even fathers who were married to their children’s mother feel that they are not fairly treated when it comes to custody. However, it was reported that there has been a decline of belief in the stereotype that mothers are more apt to take care of their children than fathers. The percentage of mothers awarded sole custody of children declined from approximately 60 percent to approximately 45 percent.

While becoming a father can be a joyous occasion, losing custody can be devastating. Therefore, Pennsylvania fathers may wish to prepare for their child custody proceedings to their best of their ability. Being informed on the process can help concerned parties work toward more desirable outcomes.

Source: slate.com, "Dad's Day in Court", Hanna Rosin, May 13, 2014

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