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Best interest of child paramount in custody child support issues

The past four decades have brought many changes to the family court system. Not so long ago, during a divorce, mothers were routinely given custody of the children. The fathers were granted visitation rights and expected to pay a large portion of their gross income as child support, with very little variations. The feminist movement of the late '60s and the '70s brought some heady changes, some of which affected custodial arrangements of minor children of the marriage and have ramifications even today.

A case in point is the Father's Rights Activists, who take particular offense at the advancements of women in the ensuing years, and the perceptions these men have of the family and divorce court systems. The group feels the courts unfairly skews towards women and to detriment of men.

To some degree, fathers today owe the women's liberation movement a great debt in that it has made possible family leaves for both sexes, and judges in divorce cases are much more likely to consider the overall best interest of the child when awarding custody. In a large majority of cases, a joint custodial arrangement is considered optimal, unless issues of abuse, neglect or substance abuse are present. Courts encourage fathers to stay involved in their children's lives and keep open a civil dialogue with the other parent.

One activist in the FRA community, a divorced father of three, faced criminal charges and divorce after thrice slapping his 4-year-old daughter for licking his hand, causing blood to spew from her mouth. Ordered to undergo parental counseling by the Court in light of the incident, he refused, causing him to lose custody of his children and forgo visitation rights. He filed frivolous motions for a decade and declined to pay child support. His solution was to set himself afire in 2011 outside a New England courthouse.

An experienced family law attorney can assist parents of either gender when it comes to retaining their custodial rights and assuring maximum access to their children during their formative years and beyond. Don't allow the system to victimize you. Fight back rationally and legally with competent counsel backing you.

Source: america.aljazeera.com, "Debunking the ‘war on men’" Jill Filipovic, Dec. 19, 2013

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