Fathers Have the Same Rights in Custody Matters as Mothers

father's rights attorneysThe law in New York is gender neutral. Fathers currently have the same rights to have custody of their children as mothers, in Family Court custody proceedings as well as in the Supreme Court in divorce proceedings. For fathers to win custody cases they must carefully prepare their cases to assert their father’s rights. The area of father’s rights law is a growing area of the law in many states. Fathers who want to have an active role in their children’s lives need to be prepared to fight for their father’s rights. Father’s rights lawyers have an expertise in the presentation of custody cases on behalf of fathers.

Tender Years Doctrine

One of the doctrines utilized in the past that prevented fathers from obtaining custody of young children was the Tender Years Doctrine. This doctrine advocated mothers were better suited to provide the love and care for young children. The laws that currently exist in the State of New York are gender neutral. The law no longer recognizes mothers have any superior right to have custody of a child at any age. The standard as to who should receive custody of the child is based on the child’s best interest.

In making decisions in custody cases, courts review many relevant factors. They base their decision on what is in the best overall interest of the child. Although mothers still win more custody cases than fathers, fathers have made significant inroads in recent years in obtaining custody of children.

Joint Custody

Joint custody arrangements can be negotiated between the attorneys for the father and the mother. Joint custody arrangements involve the sharing by both parents of duties with regard to the raising of the children. Joint custody allows the children to be close with both parents and have the love and affection of both a father and a mother on a regular basis.

Parenting Time

The more modern term for visitation with children is referred to as parenting time. Today, parenting time plans (which used to be called visitation agreements) can be worked out to set up mutually agreeable visitation schedules that take into account the employment of both the father and mother, the needs of the children to attend school, see doctors and dentists, and the transportation issues involving the children participating in extra curricular activities in after school programs. Parenting schedules can be flexible to allow the parents to work out last minute changes in their employment schedules and unforeseen matters that prevent them from utilizing their time with the children.

Child Support

The parent who receives custody of the child is entitled to receive child support from the non-custodial parent. Even in joint custody situations, there is a residential custodial parent designated in the parenting agreement. The non-residential custodial parent must pay child support to the residential custodial parent.


The best way to evaluate your situation is to contact an attorney that handles father’s rights cases to discuss the feasibility of your goals and to obtain a road map as to how to achieve those goals.advocate for fathers

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.