Fathers are a great source of inspiration and knowledge for their children. Fatherhood teaching opportunities have traditionally been limited to fishing, hunting, camping, fixing things, and grilling dinner. Nowadays, fathers are much more involved in their children’s lives. But when divorce splits up a family, the noncustodial parent can lose out on time with their children. While there are many programs out there to help mothers during and after divorce, fathers are only now finding programs to assist them in their time of need. And a local program recently held a seminar to give tips to dads about dealing with custody disputes.
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse was set up “to provide, facilitate, and disseminate current research, proven and innovative strategies that will encourage and strengthen fathers and families, and providers of services.” The website has a lot of information to help not only set up local fatherhood support programs, but to give ideas to dads about interacting with their kids. The clearinghouse states “when fathers are involved in the lives of their kids, especially with their education, they learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior. Even when fathers do not share a home with their kids, their active involvement can have a lasting and positive impact.” The clearinghouse website gives links to help dads help their kids with homework. There are also links to websites with multiple activities that dads can share with their kids.
The Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida
For help closer to home, there is the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida. The task force was created in 2010 “to facilitate the involvement of fathers in the lives of children.” Recently the task force held a luncheon in downtown Miami to talk with divorced and unwed fathers about their rights and duties as a parent. The luncheon “touched on topics including divorce, parenting plans, child support and domestic violence.” The Fatherhood Task Force encourages fathers to not only teach their children, but to learn about their children as well. This can lead to healthier families.
Even though Florida law does not presuppose that the mother is the best parent, it is still common for the mothers to receive custody of children in a divorce. This perpetuates the myth that divorced fathers are not involved in their children’s lives. The Fatherhood Task Force is working to break this stereotype as well as promote responsible fatherhood. One of the luncheon speakers told the fathers present “that they are fighting for their children, not against the mother.”
Many men see the cards as stacked against them when looking at the judicial system in relation to a divorce or other child-custody issues. This can lead to fathers giving up the fight and thereby losing out on close relationships with their children. Fathers are not there just to pay child support, but to be an involved parent in their children’s lives.
If you feel that you are not being heard and not being given a chance to be an integral part of your children’s lives, contact our experienced attorneys to help you fight for your parental rights.