The answer to that question, is “no.” As long as the two of you are married, you have the same legal rights to your children that your wife does. And you will have joint legal custody and joint physical custody of your children unless a court determines otherwise. Just because you are the father does not mean that you automatically lose your right to custody of your children.
What You Can Do to Defend Your Right to Child Custody
But just because you have a legal right, that doesn’t mean you’ll always have a legal right – especially if your wife wants full custody. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Consult an attorney – if this is possible, do so before either party has filed for divorce. An attorney will be able to file a custody petition and an access order and thus protect your rights as a father.
- Have your attorney compose a written agreement with your wife’s attorney regarding the children. This should outline where the children will live, visitation schedules, and how child related expenses are to be handled.
Use Your Legal Rights to Child Custody
Men often have a misconception that the Family Court System favors women. But rather, you need to use the court system in a way that helps rather than hinder. Don’t be scared off because of your preconceived ideas regarding family court. Rather, find a way to get involved and stay involved. Proving that you are willing to fight for your custody rights shows that you deserve custody rights.
Source: Divorce Support, Can My Wife Take The Children If She Leaves?, 2014
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