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Does a Mother Have More Rights Than a Father in California Child Custody Disputes?

Oftentimes during a divorce, child custody dispute, visitation dispute, or dispute regarding child support, a father believes that he does not have the same rights as the mother does when it comes to his children. However, this is a complete myth. Legally, a father has the same rights to his children as the mother does.


When involved in a custodial dispute, it is important that the father understands there is such a thing as “fathers’ rights.” Additionally, seeking the assistance of an experienced family law attorney can ensure that your rights are honored and upheld in family court when there is a dispute involving your children.


How Child Custody Is Determined in California


In California, including here in San Diego, the standard for determining who will receive custody of children in a relationship is the best interests of the child. California family court judges also place an emphasis on the health, safety, and well-being of the children and want to encourage continuing contact with both parents.


What This Standard Means for Fathers’ Rights in California


Essentially, there is no “favoritism” of the mother over the father in the state of California. The best interests of the child or children, along with their safety, health, and well-being, are taken into account, and most of the time, this will mean some type of joint custody between the two parents. Additionally, if there is a suspicion of child abuse, domestic violence, or something else that would not be in the best interest of the children involved, this would be held against the parent who perpetrated the harmful actions.


If the father spends time with the children, is available to take care of the children, has no history of abuse, and if spending time with the father would be in the best interest of the children, then the father will most likely gain at least joint custody of his children.


Furthermore, if spending more time with the mother would not be in the best interests of the children, or if the mother does not have as much time to devote to caring for and supporting the children, the father may gain more than 50 percent legal and physical custody of the children.


Consult a Family Law Attorney


Each custodial situation is fact-specific, and it is hard to determine fathers’ rights without evaluating a situation based on its individual circumstances. If you are involved in a custodial dispute in San Diego and want to ensure your rights are upheld, consulting a family law attorney is the best way to do so.


Our attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel have years of experience handling child custody, support, and visitation cases. We know the value of children having a relationship with their father as well as their mother, and we want to ensure that children involved in custodial disputes have a continuing relationship with both parents.


For an initial consultation on your case, we welcome your call to our office in San Diego at (858) 935-6211.

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