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Rated: 13+ · Editorial · Opinion · #1409230
Debate on whether fathers should have equal custody in divorce. I took the "yes" side.
I am writing on the "yes" side to the debate of whether fathers should have equal custody rights to his children in divorce. I say yes with one caveat - that the father  is not abusive, neglectful, or otherwise unfit to be a good parent. Of course, in a perfect world, there would be no divorce and all children would be raised by both a mother and a father who would love and care for them, and the children would all grow up perfectly well-adjusted and happy. However, as we all know, we do not live in a perfect world, so we should try to do the best we can. Divorce is, unfortunately, common, and can be at times, and again unfortunately, extremely hurtful to all of those involved, especially children.

I feel that since you obviously cared enough for this man to have his child, assuming the child was conceived out of love, how anyone could now turn around and make the decision that the child should no longer have a relationship with his or her father just completely baffles me. What exactly gives anyone the right to take a father away from a child or a child from a father? That child is just as much a part of him, and most fathers love their children just as much as their mothers do.

There are so many "deadbeat dads" out there today as it is, I cannot imagine why, if a child's father wants to continue to be in his child's life, there would be any issue at all.  Again, this is all under the assumption that the father is a loving, caring parent.  One would think the mother would embrace the fact that the father wants to stay in his child's life. He and his wife are divorcing, not he, his wife and children. Fathers are important to children. My parents divorced when I was just a child. My father chose not to be a parent to me. He signed over his parental rights to my step-father when I was nine years old. I received a new birth certificate with my step-father's surname. It's as if my biological father never existed. I am now fifty years old and still have issues about this.

As adults, we should be putting our children first, before ourselves. While I realize this is not an easy feat, especially in the midst of divorce, we have a responsibility to at least try. There is nothing worse than putting a child in the middle of a custody dispute. Nobody wins, especially the child. It is extremely hard to be selfless when you are hurt and angry. But, if you love your children, try to remember who the adults are. Try to remember that even though you may not love this man anymore, your children still do. He is their father. If he wants to be in their life, he has every right to be, just as you, their mother, does.  Everyone will benefit, and perhaps you'll even end up with happy, well-adjusted children who will have learned a lot from their parents.

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