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Fathers' rights should not be ignored during custody disputes

In the past in many American jurisdictions there was a presumption that mothers should have physical custody of any children born to a marriage that ends in divorce. This is because traditionally women stayed out of the workforce and remained home as the primary caretakers of the kids. In Arizona and in other parts of the country, fathers traditionally worked outside of the home and earned the incomes their families needed to have roofs over their heads and food on their plates.

Since courts viewed it as less disruptive to kids to keep them in the custody of their mothers, fathers often lost out on opportunities to have meaningful time with their kids after divorce. This trend did not always serve the best interests of the children and sometimes harmed the father-child relationship. Over time, this presumption has lost some of its staying power and fathers are more likely to be granted custody rights to their kids.

Now many courts prefer to give parents joint custody of their children. This can mean that the parents have both joint physical custody and joint legal custody of their shared kids. Joint physical custody permits children to share time at the homes of both of their parents; joint legal custody means that both parents are involved in the important decisionsregarding their children's education, religious upbringing, and medical care.

Attorney John Bednarz is an advocate for fathers' rights. Although courts will always look to what custody arrangements best serve the children, fathers have the right to fight for time with their kids

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