Child custody issues are rarely simple. Every family, every divorce and every child is unique. But as divorce becomes more common, family dynamics change and more men appeal for more time with their children, custody is becoming increasingly complex.
Men face a number of challenges when fighting to preserve their custody rights, including:
1. Parental Alienation
Parental alienation isn’t a new concept – the psychiatrist Richard Gardener coined the term more than two decades ago. Parental alienation occurs when one parent denigrates the other parent for the purpose of damaging their relationship.
Psychologists say some parents behave this way because they cannot separate the couple’s conflict from the child’s needs.
Eventually, the child rejects the targeted parent. The child may not want to spend time with the targeted parent, destroying the possibility of the two having a loving relationship.
Parental alienation can cause the child a lifetime of psychological harm, and men are, unfortunately, often the target in this scenario.
If you can demonstrate that your ex-spouse is exhibiting symptoms of parental alienation syndrome, the courts may:
- Hold your former spouse in contempt. The court may find your ex in contempt of court and even impose sanctions.
- Modify your custody agreement if they believe the alienation is causing your child harm.
While parental alienation is serious, you do have legal recourse to fight back.
2. Obtaining Shared or Full Custody
More men are fighting for shared or full custody. For decades, judges believed it to be in the best interests of the child to give the mother full custody and the father visitation rights. But new research shows that children need equal time with both parents.
According to Micklin Law Group,”Historically, gender bias toward women plays a large role in the discrepancy of parental custody rulings. In many scenarios, you might feel like you may get the short end of the stick simply because you are a man; the dad. If you are actively engaged in your children’s lives, the courts should respect that.”
While court attitudes and opinions are changing, men still face major challenges when applying for shared or full custody. Today, there are law firms that are dedicated to helping men protect their parental rights and fight for more time with their children.
When one parent wants or needs to relocate, this can complicate custody agreements. Dads may want to keep their ex from moving out of state with the kids, or the dad may be the one who needs to relocate for a better-paying job.
The complicated issue of relocation may arise before, during or after the divorce is finalized and the child custody agreement is in place.
Regardless of whether dad is looking to keep his child around or pursue opportunities to better the lives of his children, the issue of relocation must be approached carefully and with the help of an experienced lawyer.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing on men’s rights during a divorce. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has experience working with Men going through divorces in New Jersey. You can read more on this topic by visiting our divorce blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.