Most North Carolina children do better in school and at home when their fathers are involved in their lives. However, there have been prevailing stereotypes that label fathers as being irresponsible, unreliable and inclined towards having abusive tendencies. These stereotypes have hurt many fathers’ abilities to seek equal custody rights.
These stereotypes can result in unfair legal situations where a court will award the mother custody of the children and require the father to pay a crippling amount of child support. Further, it is often considered to be out of the norm for children to be raised by a single father. Even with all of the advances both men and women have made in the last few decades when it comes to societal roles, society still expects the mom to raise the kids and the father to be the monetary provider.
Part of the problem may also be that men are expected to find a career path and continue to advance. Advancing in their careers and playing the role of a single parent can be particularly difficult, especially when men are still seen as the primary breadwinner. Some fathers have turned to remote work and freelancing in order to cover both of these roles.
Unless there is documented abuse, both parents have certain rights when it comes to their children. Although many courts often still favor the mother due to biases when it comes to child custody decisions, the father should at minimum have visitation and time with his children. A family law attorney may work with the father to protect his rights and negotiate a shared custody plan that benefits the children. By seeking shared custody, the father would be able to foster and maintain a strong relationship with the children even though the father is no longer with the mother.