Custody battles can be very challenging for all involved parties. Any father who wants to pursue custody of his child should start by understanding the differences between full custody and joint custody. Full custody allows one party to have both legal and physical custody of a child, while joint custody allows both parties to share physical and/or legal custody of a child. Generally, the courts prefer for both parents to share custody of a child, if possible. Here is some more information about child custody for fathers:
Custody for Fathers and Discrimination
Although this issue is often disputed, most courts will not discriminate against a father during a child custody dispute. In addition, family courts will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexuality. Therefore, a father should be given an equal opportunity to obtain custody of his child, assuming he has established paternity of the child.
Factors Considered in Determining Child Custody For Fathers
Fathers should understand court considerations regarding child custody prior to a court proceeding. A court will consider the following factors in a court proceeding regarding custody for fathers:
- Father's relationship with the child
- Child's wishes
- Best interests of the child
- Father's ability to support the child
- Financial resources
Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)
If a father does not know where his child lives, he can seek assistance from the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS). The FPLS can search their databases for confidential information relating to the whereabouts of a child and the child's mother. Confidential information includes the mother's last known address as well as the name and address of a current or last known employer.
It is never a good idea for parents to argue, especially in front of their children. Instead, parents should try to communicate with each other about any obstacles faced and always consider the best interests of the child. For more information about custody for fathers, refer to additional resources regarding your state's child custody guidelines or speak with a qualified attorney in your state.