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Are courts ignoring the rights and best interest of dads?

Certain father's rights groups have begun to advocate that dads are not getting the fair end of the stick when it comes to divorce and child custody proceedings. In one recent case, a man and his romantic partner had decided to conceive a child by way of in vitro fertilization. Later, a judge denied the man paternal rights to the 4-year-old child, even though he tried to argue it was in the best interest of the child that he be given such rights.

More men, it seems, are challenging current legal conventions. For example, another man tried to protest his girlfriend's decision to move to another state after becoming pregnant with their child. An additional group of fathers brought a legal claim against their state for allowing women to give babies up for adoption without first consulting the father.

In spite of fathers' rights groups calling foul play, however, not everyone holds their opinion and some question whether the concerns of these men are true. In fact, over the last 40 years, a movement in the court system has led to men receiving more and more rights in family law proceedings. These days, courts have consistently left behind the notion that women should be the sole caretakers of their children.

At the end of the day, courts in Illinois do try to make decisions that are in the best interest of one's child. For example, they know that children lead better-balanced and happier lives if their father is present and spends time with them. Fathers also have powerful laws on their side, which they can assert in court where necessary to ensure that they are given the parental rights that they deserve.

Source: Slate, "Dad’s Day in Court" Hanna Rosin, May. 13, 2014

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