Rights for Noncustodial Parents

When the Montgomery Advertiser conducted a roundtable discussion of issues facing the Alabama legislature, one of the participants complained that the courts are exiling fathers from their children. Here’s the article. Look about 4/5 of the way down. This participant, a noncustodial parent himself, said that judges “have free reign to disregard [the rights of noncustodial parents] according to their bias or whim.”

I don’t have the same experience dealing with child custody laws this fellow does, so I won’t try to disagree with his perception. I can say that in my practice I have watched many judges deal with hundreds of vexing cases where both parents seem worthy (and too many where NEITHER parent seemed worthy). I have been impressed with the wisdom they show in case after case, all while a crushing backlog of other cases clamors for their attention.

I’m confident there are bad judges out there; I’ve even appeared before one or two of them. By and large, though, the judges I see are doing a fine job under the toughest of circumstances. I know I surely wouldn’t want to have to make the kinds of decisions we require them to make.

5 comments

  1. Scott says:

    Can you tell me where I might find information or a website
    that will tell me what legal obligation a noncustodial parent
    has in paying for a child’s college education?
    Thank you,
    Scott

  2. ann says:

    my exhusband has physical custody of our 17 year old daughter. we do
    have joint custody of her. he failed to take her to counseling as
    ordered by the court. and now he has taken her to a doctor who
    has put her on prosac antidepressant. he failed to notify me of this
    decision as i am very much against antidepressant for teenagers as it
    has a high suicide rate for teenagers. please help. we live in roanoke
    virginia
    thanks
    ann

  3. jennifer says:

    what rights does a non custodial father have concerning decisions about the child. for example, my stepson’s mother won’t let us take him for a weekend because a friend of the child’s grandmother is taking him. does my husband have the right to say he cannot go overnight to stay with someone he knows nothing about?

  4. Lee Borden says:

    Your husband has the same rights Mom does, namely those granted in the divorce decree. Go back to the decree and read it. If he’s entitled to spend that weekend with his child, he can insist upon it. If not, it’s the other parent’s call where the child goes and with whom.

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