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Fathers sometimes struggle for equal treatment as parents

When a New Jersey couple divorces, decisions about child custody and support might be reached through mutual agreement or imposed by a family court. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that men receive unfair treatment by biased courts that regard them as unequal parents. In most cases courts award mothers primary physical custody, which then gives them some power to dictate how and when fathers can interact with children.

For example, a court order might grant a father decision-making powers and the right to attend a child's health care appointments and school events. However, the mother might be the one scheduling appointments and receiving information from the school. By saying that the court order does not command her to share this information, she can effectively deny the father access.

Fathers also frequently report being denied adequate time with their children. Mothers are in a position to refuse special requests for additional interaction. In one family, a father returning from military duty could not see his child beyond the normal visitation granted in the original court order. Obstacles like this can only be overcome by taking the other parent to court and asking for accommodation.

A person who needs to modify a child custody agreement could seek out the services of an attorney who has family law experience. Legal counsel could inform the person about parental rights and how to petition a court for a change. An attorney might also attempt to negotiate a new agreement. If terms can be reached outside of court, the court approval process might be accomplished more quickly.

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