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Fathers' rights law firms thriving across U.S.

In Georgia and around the country, more and more family law firms are focusing on fathers' rights. This is due to men who are seeking more of a say in the raising of their children as well as to many state legislatures that are reassessing their child custody laws. Articles about research that shows that the absence of a father in the home has vast repercussions have made their way onto the front pages of national media outlets.

Child custody laws differ from state to state. For example, "shared custody" in one state does not have the same meaning in another. However, legislatures and courts in many states are slowly making child custody language gender neutral. One way some states are doing this is by turning such language as "joint custody" and "sole custody" into such terms as "legal decision making" or "parenting time." But even in a time where states such as Arizona, Delaware and Maine are working hard to create gender neutral language in their child custody statutes, there is currently no state that can serve as a beacon for the fathers' rights movement.

Fathers' rights advocates should note that the tide is changing in their direction. According to a recent study of Wisconsin custody decisions, the number of cases in which mothers got sole custody of their children dropped from 80 percent in 1986 to 42 percent in 2008.

A family law attorney who advocates for the rights of fathers can highlight a client's heightened role in their children's lives should custody proceedings be necessary. This is important as family law courts in many states still favor the mother in child custody cases. Fathers can work with their attorneys to show the court that despite the end of the marriage, they can still serve an important role in the child's life.

Source: USA Today, "More dads demand equal custody rights", Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014

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