Do the Courts Prefer Mothers over Fathers?
Historically, with parenting time following divorce, many believed children
should stay with only one parent rather than jump back and forth between
both parents. It was thought this was less impactful physically and psychologically
on the child as a whole. Courts also tended to grant a majority of parenting
time to the mother, believing she was better equipped to raise children.
But today, a father’s right to parent his children is no different
than a mother’s. Unfortunately, history has left a bad taste in
the mouths of many couples with children who wish to divorce, and many
believe mothers have greater rights to parent than fathers. This stigma
makes divorcing fathers feel even more vulnerable and helpless than they
What Are a Father’s Legal Parenting Rights?
Courts rely on the best interests of the child standard when determining
parenting time. Under C.R.S. 14-10-124, the legislature makes clear that
“it is in the best interest of all parties to encourage frequent
and continuing contact between each parent and the minor children after
Further, when determining what is in the best interest of the child, the
courts are prohibited from considering a party’s gender.
Of the many rights fathers have regarding their children, most paramount
is the right to parent, and this right to parent cannot be lost unless
the parent either relinquishes that right or loses that right because
of certain wrongdoing.
Resources for Fathers Alienated from Their Children
Nonetheless, for dads who feel alone, it is important to know they are
one of many fathers going through the same thing. Groups like Denver Dads
Group (found at:
http://www.meetup.com/DenverDadsGroup/) and Fatherhood Support Services (found at:
http://www.fatherhoodsupportservices.com/) echo this sentiment and provide both a forum for fathers to meet and
guidance so fathers can be engaged “fully, effectively, and responsibly”
in their children’s lives.