Changes in culture are often accompanied by shifts in family law. For example, it was long held that women would almost always receive physical custody of their children in the event of divorce. However, men in general are now taking a more active role in their children’s lives, and courts, including those in Georgia, are more inclined to split parenting time evenly between mothers and fathers.

Still, sometimes fathers have to fight hard to exert their parental rights. With that in mind, let’s consider the case of a Missouri man who has been trying to get custody of his daughter for a year and a half. According to him, his wife left him in 2012. However, the couple’s daughter and the wife’s child from a prior relationship stayed with the man.

When the wife returned a couple of months later, she asked if the children could spend the night with her and have a birthday party. The mother never returned, and the father didn’t see his child again for 18 months. Finally, once the mother and the children were located, a legal battle ensued, and custody hearings have been scheduled for this coming summer.

The father believes that the length of the dispute in this case is symptomatic of a much larger problem throughout the country: the lack of urgency given to cases involving fathers who are seeking the return of children who were abducted by their mothers.

If you are a parent involved in a child custody dispute, it is important to take the proper course of action. Doing otherwise could jeopardize your parental rights. A family law attorney is in a position to protect those rights, as well as help you establish a parenting plan that protects the best interests of your child.

Source: KSHB.com, “Kansas City father fights to get daughter back amidst custody battle,” Garrett Haake, April 8, 2014