Father continues battle for equal child custody for all dads

As family courts around the country continue to move toward equal parenting rights, a 41-year-old father's ongoing fight for more visitation time with his young sons may lead to additional child custody rights for dads in Maryland and throughout the country.

The father, who is seeking more than just the historically standard visitation time of every other weekend and a few weeks during the summer, argues that fathers should be allowed to spend equal quality time with their children, aside from cases with evidence of drug use or domestic violence. This proposal seems to be making national headway. Although he claims to be fighting for equal parenting rights without regard to gender, his arguments naturally go against traditional favoritism towards the mother as primary caregiver for the family's children. Instead, he argues, children benefit the most from equal quality time spent with both their mother and father.

For several years, the father has worked tirelessly to change the laws of Arizona, his state of residence, regarding the matter. Examples of his efforts include collaborating with state officials and professionals on the matter, joining the Senate's Domestic Relations Committee at the suggestion of a State Senator and taking hours of parenting classes.

One of the laws he has worked on is named after his eldest son, 12-year-old Ammon. He hasn't been able to see Ammon in four years due to the court's child custody ruling as well the requirement of reunification counseling. Hopefully for Maryland fathers facing a similar situation, these law proposals and study findings can be taken into consideration. A caring parent should never be deprived of seeing their own child.

Source: USA Today, "Dad fights for rights of fathers," Alia Beard Rau, June 17, 2012