Illinois fathers have parental rights too

All too often, while going through a divorce in Illinois, fathers approach child custody from the mindset that it does not really matter what they say or do, as the mother is just going to be awarded custody. Instead of fighting for equal parenting rights, many fathers just mentally prepare themselves for every-other-weekend visits, assuming their child or children will primarily live with their mother.

At Butler & Giraudo, P.C., we are here to tell you that, while a common misconception, the idea that the children will automatically be with the mother is inaccurate. Rather, fathers can — and do — end up with joint or primary custody.

When it comes to being awarded custody, aside from hiring an attorney, one of the biggest pieces of advice for a father is to take an active and proactive role in their child or children’s lives.

This means, instead of complaining about the mother’s lack of communication over how school is going, the father should just call the school directly and ask for his own separate communication on such matters. Instead of sitting around wondering what is going on in the child or children’s lives, sign up to volunteer with the class, or coach the sports team. These are all ways to stay connected and show the courts that you are ready and able to be an active participant in your child or children’s lives.

As a father, it is important to also recognize what it is that you want. Are you looking for full custody? Or do you want joint custody? What type of a child custody arrangement is in the best interests for your child? If you have concerns and think the child would be better off staying solely with you, make sure to speak up. Staying silent on these matters is only doing a disservice to you and your child.

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