Being a father is more than just something you do in between your other obligations — it is the most important role you will ever play in life. But now that you are getting a divorce, you might not be sure how fatherhood will look going forward. Many dads in Illinois worry that they will only see their kids occasionally. Your situation does not have to be like this, so it may help to familiarize yourself with fathers’ rights regarding child custody.
It is a myth that courts automatically give moms primary custody. State law allows for both moms and dads to request parental rights when divorcing, which can result in a number of different custody situations. You should always be proactive when seeking parenting time, which includes being an active participant in your child’s life. For example, even if your ex-spouse routinely managed your child’s daily schedule, you should gather that information for yourself instead of waiting for her to inform you. This includes things like signing up as a class parent, chaperoning field trips and volunteering on a sports team.
If you are only familiar with the idea of child custody where dads only see their kids on the weekend, you may need to learn more about other options, such as joint physical custody. In joint custody, you and your ex share parenting responsibilities and time. This gives you both the opportunity to maintain relationships with your child. Children also benefit from this arrangement because it gives them a sense of continued stability in an otherwise difficult period of life.
You could also secure sole parental responsibilities, as a lot of dads truly believe that living primarily with them is in their children’s best interests. Men in Illinois are often hesitant to pursue this option for a number of different reasons. Some worry that pushing too hard for sole custody could negatively affect their parenting image and limit their opportunities for parenting time. Others are simply not familiar with the concept of fathers’ rights and do not think that sole custody is even possible for dads. Whether you are interested in joint parenting or sole custody, you should be sure to visit our website to find out more about your parental rights.