Law Offices of Hannah E. Sims, LL.M.
Oakland Certified Family Law Specialist

Fight for your rights as a father to parent your child

In past years, divorced or unmarried fathers were relegated to roles akin to those of a backseat driver. They were able to shout, "Watch out!" when disaster loomed but had precious little control over the situation at hand.

Fortunately, the courts are now a bit more enlightened and recognize the legitimate role that dads have to offer their children. According to the federal Department of Education (DoE), when dads remain involved in their kids' lives, the children get better grades, learn more and display healthier behavioral patterns.

The above applies even when those fathers aren't living with their children. As such, the DoE strives to recognize and include dads in the programs they offer so that these involved dads can continue to have a positive impact on their children's lives.

In the United Kingdom, researchers followed 17,000 children who were born in the year 1958. They re-interviewed them when the kids turned 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33. The researchers concluded that:

  • Teens who were close to their dads established more satisfying marriages than their peers who felt estranged from their fathers during adolescence.
  • Kids whose dads were involved in their lives experienced fewer behavioral and emotional problems during the often-turbulent adolescent years.
  • Girls with close relationship with their dads during adolescence tended not to suffer from psychological issues as adults.

What does all of this mean today? For one, it illustrates the need for the California courts to continue providing opportunities for fathers to retain custody of their children when marriages and relationships between the parents dissolve.

It also should encourage dads to continue to reach out to their children even when they are rebuffed. Teens can be angsty and angry and lash out at their parents, or alternatively, try to ignore their very existence. Persist anyway.

If you are considering a divorce and are the father of minor children, don't give up. Continue to fight for your right to parent your children in the California family courts. The positive outcome for your children will be well worth the effort you expend in maintaining close ties with them.

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