Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Child custody: Do fathers get the short end of the stick?

Nationally, there is a movement to offer mothers and fathers equal access to their children when the couple's relationship fails. This movement is not new, so one would think that more fathers would feel that they are being treated equally in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, according to a recent report, many fathers do not feel this way. When it comes to child custody, are fathers in Massachusetts and elsewhere still getting the short end of the stick?

Technically, family courts have moved to offering shared custody agreements in all cases where they are deemed appropriate. The keyword here is appropriate. In other words, it has to be deemed to serve the best interests of the child. 

Despite the push to offer joint custody, it is believed that 80 percent of all custody holders in the United States are mothers. Men lose their rights as fathers when they struggle to pay child support, when they are accused of hurting their families and when women fail to list them on birth certificates. What can fathers do if they are  denied access to their children? They may be able to fight back.

Yes, it would seem that men do get the short end of the stick when it comes to child custody matters, but that does not mean that they cannot take steps to fight back. In Massachusetts, fathers have every right to seek access to their children. Experienced legal counsel can help men fight for the opportunity to be the fathers that they want to be by seeking fair custody orders.

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