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Family law changing as dads ask for a greater role

People are advocating for the rights of fathers in Michigan and throughout the country. As time changes, child custody laws are becoming more favorable to fathers, but there still is room for growth.

State legislatures are paying attention to recent research that highlights the importance of the father-child relationship on the wellbeing of children, both physically and emotionally. Dads are stepping up to the plate too. Evidence shows that fathers are increasingly more interested in maintaining relationships with their children in the event of a divorce or break-up with the mother. With equal rights among men and women being touted in virtually every aspect of our lives, family law is no different and fathers are fighting for equal treatment when it comes to custody of their children.

Although custody determinations still vary among states, there is a consistent theme of changing the outdated view of a father's role in parenting. One reason for this is that many of the people in charge of creating legislation or making custody decisions are from divorced households themselves. Judges, lawyers and lawmakers seem to want a better experience for the current generation.

While there are major proponents of this father-focused approach, or at least a more equal approach to child custody, many still feel that the situation should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Situational factors include who takes care of the child's healthcare and schooling, among a variety of other factors. The focus is on which parent is more involved and how it will work if both parties want to parent together. Especially with young children, a custody arrangement needs to provide balance for everyone involved.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday," Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014

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