At Helfand & Associates, we represent both mothers and fathers zealously in custody/parenting situations. Our bottom line objective is to really do what is in the best interest of children. It is our job to support our client’s goals, but if the goals are not genuinely for the best interest of the children (i.e. a party wants more parenting time to either increase or decrease support, or a party wants more parenting time to hurt the other party and use the children as pawns) we at Helfand & Associates will not support these agendas.
With that said, it is the current belief amongst psychological experts that children really benefit from a close relationship with both parents when the family is intact as well as when the family unit dissolves. Over the last few years, significant changes have occurred in the roles of mothers and fathers in the family. We see many dads playing a huge role in caring for the children these days. Dads that work full-time also make breakfast, drop kids off or pick them up from school, attend and/or coach kid’s sporting events, shop for food, help with homework, and participate in all other aspects of their children’s upbringing.
In years past, fathers would predominantly be responsible for the financial stability of the family. Now both moms and dads typically contribute financially and equally share child-care responsibilities. We also unfortunately see situations where mothers suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction or simply neglect the children, requiring that dad be the primary caretaker for the children. Previously, when parties divorced there was certainly a tendency to give mothers the children and have dads visit every other weekend, no matter what the circumstances were. Times have changed. Mothers and fathers have equal rights and responsibilities. At the time the family breaks up, shared parenting arrangements are common as long as parties can cooperate.
The facts and circumstances of each case must be considered to determine what is in the best interest of the children. Dads that have played an important role in the children’s lives during the marriage should not be afraid that they will lose their rights to parent in the same or similar fashion after the breakup. Good dads are very important in all children’s lives.
To see the statutory factors used in considering custody click here.