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 already do.
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 marriage.”
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: https://www.meetup.com/DenverDadsGroup/) and Fatherhood Support Services (found at: https://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.