If you are a New York father seeking full or shared custody of your children as part of a divorce action, it can seem at times as if you are fighting an uphill battle, even though research has suggested the following:

  • Both mothers and fathers make unique and important contributions to the development of their children.
  • Children raised by both parents are less likely to develop negative habits like drug abuse.

For decades, New York courts decided most custody battles in favor of the mother. Although father’s rights activists protested this doctrine of maternal preference, citing civil rights violations, and New York law now states that neither party has a gender-based presumption of custody, in practice it is still the mother who usually gets physical custody in a divorce action. Because men continue to encounter outdated concepts of a father’s role in his child’s life, father’s rights attorneys are continuing to demand a presumption of completely shared custody and equally divided child care costs unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

As a father in a New York divorce action, you have the right to request and benefit from the following unless such an arrangement is not in the best interests of the children:

  • Request full custody: The majority of courts today have rejected the “tender years” doctrine that calls for a child to be raised by his or her mother until at least the age of four. While it’s not the rule, more and more fathers are becoming sole custodians of their young children.
  • Have a shared custody arrangement: You can negotiate a shared custody arrangement that allows you to spend substantial and meaningful time with your children. If your former spouse is negligent or otherwise remiss in her obligations as a parent, you can always request a child custody modification.
  • Modify a child support order: If you and/or your ex experience a change in financial circumstances (for example, she starts to make more money), then you can petition the court for a change in the current child support order.

If you are a father in the process of obtaining a divorce from your spouse, then it is important to work with a New York family law attorney with experience in protecting the rights of fathers during custody conflicts. Equally important is demonstrating to the court that you will be able to spend dedicated quality time with your children, especially if you are seeking full physical custody.

Father’s rights have made considerable progress over the years. An experienced New York divorce and child custody will work to help you achieve shared or even joint custody of your children, enabling you to spend the dedicated time that they need from you as they grow. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY divorce and family law attorney. He has over 33 years of proven legal experience and offers free in-office consultations. Call 718-514-6619 today to set up an appointment or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn about your local lawyer.