Every year, the third Sunday of June, is celebrated as Father’s Day through much of the world. Surely, many fathers in Tennessee spent a wonderful Sunday with their children enjoying that special feeling associated with parenthood. Sadly, however, a number of fathers in Clarksville, Tennessee and throughout the country were unable to spend the special day with their children because of a number of reasons, the most prominent among them divorce or separation from their child’s mother.
While many family courts, in Tennessee and throughout the rest of the country, used to pass judgments pertaining to family laws in favor of the mother, the fathers’ rights movement of recent years has changed the scenario to a great extent. As a result, courts are now more inclined to come to a judgment that is equally favorable to the father as well as the mother.
It may be difficult to precisely define the fathers’ rights movement, but its primary goal is to ensure that even after the failure of a relationship between a mother and a father, the father remains legally empowered to have significant engagement in the upbringing of the couple’s child. This is in sync with the current social trend, where a large number of men have taken up the responsibility of being the primary custodian of their children. The major reasons for this phenomenon are the volatile economic conditions, changing personal choices of men and women and the ever-changing roles at today’s workplaces.
Fathers’ rights advocates have been, for quite some time, stressing the need for laws that encourage equally-shared parenting schedules and child custody agreements. They also seek divorce agreements that are sustainable, flexible, and adaptive, as in the case of collaborative divorces.
The judicial system in Tennessee acknowledges a father’s rights and therefore, matters related to child custody, visitation rights, or child support agreements are decided after conducting a best interest analysis specific to the child. However, at times, there still may be the need to establish a father’s willingness and ability to raise a child. In such situations, appropriate legal advice can help determine what is best for his child as well as himself.
Source: New York Times, “Fathers’ Rights Needn’t Hurt Women’s Rights,” Mark Greene, June 13, 2014