In this article, you will learn:
- What sets Attorney David Mercer Apart in handling family law matters in AZ
- Common issues faced by single fathers in custody matters
I’ve been doing family law for a little over five years now, and I have a fairly even distribution of cases between moms and dads, but the cases I find I’m most passionate about are cases involving dads. Part of the reason for that is I feel like there’s a lot of pre-existing knowledge that moms have, while a lot of dads go into this unprepared. While I’ve thankfully never had the misfortune of being a dad in family court, I did have the misfortune of being an untrained, uneducated, non-professional husband in family court, and I saw how that went. That kind of personal experience has made me want to put some wisdom out there for people who are experiencing something similar, or something even more complicated involving children, so that they don’t make some of the same mistakes that I see regularly, and so they can hopefully find a better result in court.
Common Issues Facing Divorcing Or Unwed Fathers When It Comes To Custody And Support Matters
One thing I tell a lot of my clients is that the things they’re dealing with are usually things they’re learning about for the very first time. So, they often find themselves wondering what their property is compared to that of their spouse, and sometimes, the answer to that question can be surprising for them. Another big issue hotly contested in just about every case is spousal maintenance. Folks very rarely have ever thought about during their marriage whether their spouse might be entitled to spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce and what those numbers might look like. It’s sort of this concept people have vaguely heard of that they don’t really give any thought to it until they’re suddenly in a divorce case and find themselves facing a demand for spousal maintenance.
Custody is another big issue. In married couples, I often see it as the gender division of labor issue, where dad is at work, making money, paying the household bills, but as a consequence, he’s not spending as much time with the kids, and suddenly he finds himself in a situation where mom claims she is the one who primarily interacts with the children so she should have most of the parenting time. Still, people don’t think about that when they’re going to work. It’s something that hits them after the fact, and by then, it’s too late to go back in time and not go to work and not stay all those long hours of overtime and instead spend time with your family.
And worst of all, people who aren’t married discover the hard way what rights a person who is a potential father, until we’ve confirmed it in one way or another under the law, has with respect to their kids. They often find themselves dealing with situations where it’s someone that they may have a kid with who has fallen off their radar comes back, and says “Hey, you owe me three years of back child support,” or they have a kid with someone and that person tells them “Hey, you don’t have any rights to this kid, we’re not married, and by the way, I just moved to Minnesota.” So, there’s a lot of really bad situations people can find themselves in in family court, married or unmarried, and oftentimes, they find themselves in those situations as a result of a lack of planning or lack of thinking through some of the consequences of their interactions with their spouse or mother to their children.
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