In a previous post we talked a bit about fathers' rights in custody proceedings. In the past, the courts have given mother's preference for custody in divorce proceedings. Now, courts will look primarily at what is in the best interest of the child. Thus, fathers have seen a shift towards a more equitable decision for custody.
Though many think of custody proceedings as accompanying a divorce, custody disputes can come up even if the couple is not married. But even in those situations, fathers still have custody and visitation rights. Recently, a father regained custody rights of his biological son, three years after his birth.
A Midwest couple had been raising the boy since he was born. The biological father petitioned his state's court for custody of his son and was granted it last month. The article doesn't mention how the court came to its decision, but they most likely determined that allowing the biological father to raise his son was in the best interests of the boy.
The biological father has not allowed the couple to see the boy so they are trying to regain custody of him. They are also concerned that the child may be psychologically harmed living with the biological father. The father has also filed a suit against the couple claiming that they would not give him his son.
In a case like this, it's a little confusing as to who has what rights. Does the family that adopted the boy have rights for him? What sort of rights? As for the father, after being granted full custody, can he choose who gets visitation rights with his son? He is, after all, biologically related to the boy. These are questions that the court will have to answer the custody dispute continues.
Source: wlky.com, "Family Speaks Out After Giving Boy Back To Father," Erin Haynes, 12 November 2010