Fathers Have Rights Too
When fathers go through a divorce, they assume mothers have all the rights. Men feel they will be forced to pay child support, to leave the house, to only see the children on weekends, and to pay spousal support. Fortunately for men, laws have changed. Men have the same rights as do women; the right to custody, the right to child support, the right to the home, and right to alimony.
Nevada courts encourage parents to work together to form their own parenting plan. When parents cannot agree on legal decisions affecting their children, the court will make its decision based on the best interest of the children, not on the gender of the parent.
Physical custody refers to the home in which the children will actually live more than 50 percent of the time. In general, the parent with whom the children live with receives child support from the other parent. In the “olden days”, the law presumed the mother would get physical custody. That is no longer the case. Fathers can file for primary physical custody as well as mothers. Neither is presumed to be a better choice than the other. Either parent can present evidence as to why he or she should be given primary physical custody.
Although, the court most often awards joint physical custody. Joint physical custody is an option when both father and mother share equal time with the children.
Even if a father is not awarded joint physical custody, the court encourages each parent to foster a positive relationship with the other one. The court also expects parents to agree to liberal visitation in order to foster, according to the statute, “frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.”
Legal custody refers to decisions parents must make regarding their children. This includes decisions about their education, their health, religious training. No matter which parent is given physical custody, unless there is a compelling legal reason why one parent should not be involved in making decisions related to the welfare of the children, courts will generally award joint legal custody. This means both fathers and mothers share equally in making decisions involving the children. Under joint legal custody, fathers are equally involved in decision making as are mothers.
Child support is not gender based. It is income based. Whomever makes the most income will pay child support under a joint physical custody arrangement. If one parent has primary physical custody, then the other will pay child support. In the past men, made more money than women, or gave the mom primary physical custody so they were typically paying child support.Times have changed. Mothers often make as much, if not more than fathers. More couples have joint physical custody. In the past some have felt that child support is unfair to fathers. Fathers are no longer the default payer’s of child support.
In Clark County, all parents who are divorcing and unable to come to an agreement about a parenting plan are required to attend mediation. Mediation can help parents make all relevant decisions concerning physical and legal custody, visitation, as well as vacation and holiday schedules.
Mediation does not consider gender as a relevant custody factor. Fathers have an equal voice in mediation proceedings and both parents are encouraged to work together for a joint resolution to all child-related issues.
When parents have been unable to work together, either with their lawyers or through mediation, to formulate a parenting plan, the court will hold a hearing where both father and mother can present evidence to support their custody and visitation requests. The court is charged by Nevada law to consider certain relevant factors through neutral eyes, giving no more deference to a mother than to a father. The relevant Nevada statute specifically states, “Preference must not be given to either parent for the sole reason that the parent is the mother or the father of the child.”
Women are not automatically awarded the home. Both husband and wife have a right to stay in the home during the pendency of the divorce. Either husband or wife can request the court to give them exclusive possession of the residence. The Nevada Law granting the request is covered in EDCR 5.21. Being a female is not relevant in this law. The main factor judges look at is the level of conflict in the home, who is the source of the conflict, income of both parties, and reasonable opportunities to reside somewhere else.
Alimony, or spousal support is not gender based. Like child support it is income based. Whomever makes the most income will probably be ordered to pay the other temporary support and possibly long term support, if the marriage is a long term marriage. In the past men, made more money than women, so they typically paid support. Not so anymore.