Father’s Day: A Time to Promote Equal Parental Rights

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jun 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

For fathers in Birmingham and nationwide, Father's Day is a time to celebrate the special role that a man plays in a child's life. Unfortunately, for many men, Father's Day is a reminder of the parental role that they lost after divorce. One Alabama father is taking action to raise awareness to give fathers equal rights in the event of a custody dispute. A recent reporthighlights the efforts of a father who has not been able to spend Father's Day with his daughter for over three years. The U.S. Army Retired First Sergeant and the Director of Government Affairs for ALFRA, the Alabama Family Rights Association, is working hard to change custody laws to give fathers better access to their children.

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Taking legal action to protect the rights of father's begins at the legislative level, but requires experienced legal counsel and advocacy in every custody dispute. Our Birmingham custody disputes attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that fathers are on an equal playing field during a custody dispute. We understand the painful transition that families face at the time of divorce and will explore every opportunity to protect your rights and interests. For many fathers who are non-custodial, the battle can last long after a court order is finalized.

According to an article published in Psychology Today, parental alienation syndrome often occurs in custody disputes where children are taken away from their non-custodial parent. When parents have altercations or talk badly about the other parent, these children may also feel distanced, or forced to take sides. Critics of current Alabama legal standards say that the system can contribute to this alienation. For example, parents are often assigned visitation for two weekends a month and some holidays. They do not have regular contact with their children and many do not think this is enough to maintain strong relationships.

Though many states have taken legislative action to equalize men's rights in the event of a custody dispute, Alabama men may still be at a disadvantage. ALFRA is working to change custody laws so that children who are caught in the middle have access to both parents. This change in the law would give father's additional rights, except when cases involve abandonment, neglect, or abuse. The Director is a father himself who understands the painful consequences of being separated from his children after divorce. Now his priority is shifting Alabama law to protect the rights of fathers. His actions involvespersuading lawmakers, working with various groups and organizations, and making a point that children also benefit from having their fathers around after divorce.

The Director of ALFRA and other advocates for legislative changes, including child advocate experts, agree that shared parenting is a better option for children. Shared parenting would give children equal access to their mother and their father. It also helps to ensure that attachment relationships are formed with both parents which can improve psychological well-being and security into adulthood. Promoting of shared custody over some current arrangement presumes that the non-custodial parent is equally fit to share parenting duties.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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