How Important Is Fatherhood?
Nearly 24 million U.S. children (34 percent) live absent their biological fathers. Children living without the presence and guidance of their fathers are, on average, two to three times more likely to live in poverty, to use drugs, to be victims of child abuse, to engage in criminal behavior, to struggle in school, and to experience health, emotional and behavioral problems.
To improve the well-being of America's children, we must restore fatherhood as a societal norm in our communities. The statistics from countless studies show that children benefit from the institution of marriage and even from being raised by two unwed parents. In the context of divorce, custody and paternity, we must reinforce the proven advantages for children when their dads are granted continued and equalized involvement. The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd. is wholeheartedly committed to these ideals in our philosophy and practice of family law.
Proven Advocates In A System That Devalues Dads
Even now, years after official presumptions against fathers have been purged from statute books across the United States, dads still face daunting challenges in court proceedings involving children. If you are seeking sole or even joint custody, you may face a tough fight in a court system that seems all too willing to be swayed by outdated gender norms.
Our Chicago law firm has a demonstrated record of success on behalf of fathers in custody disputes arising in divorce proceedings or paternity cases, in related matters such as domestic violence protection orders, and in post-decree matters such as parent relocation or modification or enforcement of child support orders.
Your situation may seem bleak, especially when you are being badmouthed by the mother, admonished by the judge or unfairly accused of posing a threat to your own child. But there is hope when you have a true fathers' rights advocate on your side. We will give you the tools to fight for your parental rights and to remain a positive and influential presence in the lives of your children.
"A father who stands on his rights stands on quicksand."
– Attorney James M. Hagler
We Proudly Help Fathers Fighting For Their Children
Attorney Jeffery M. Leving has taken a special interest in this important legal and social justice issue during his lengthy career in family law. He has distinguished himself as a pioneer in the movement and is regularly sought out nationwide as a leading authority on fathers' rights. Fighting for fathers has become a passion and a mission for our entire legal team. Our reputation for highest quality of advocacy and representation makes the Jeffery M. Leving firm the ideal choice for fathers in Illinois and throughout the United States to overcome the very real challenges they face in court in custody-related matters.
|For more information about our abilities, our accomplishments and our ardent commitment to the cause, please visit our fathers' rights website, http://dadsrights.com/.|
What Rights Do Fathers Have?
Within the context of divorce or paternity proceedings, fathers ostensibly have the same rights and the same duties as mothers. There is no legal or scientific basis for favoring moms over dads. To the contrary, there is ample evidence that kids can thrive when Dad is the primary caregivers, and that children suffer when fathers are relegated to a secondary role or forced out of the picture altogether. However, deeply ingrained stereotypes about gender roles and parental roles still pose a challenge to dads in family court proceedings:
- Child custody — In years past, there was a strong presumption — known as the tender years doctrine — that young children were always better off residing with their mothers. And once a child has resided in the mother's home, fathers seeking child custody faced a substantial burden in altering the status quo. While this presumption no longer exists officially, it is still deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, and often reflected in judges' decisions. Fathers seeking sole custody or joint custody must be prepared to strategically face this bias to overcome it.
- Visitation — Once paternity is established, fathers have a presumptive right to visitation under most circumstances. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for custodial parents to raise false allegations of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to restrict or void these visitation rights. Unfortunately for dads, some judges are far too willing to indulge these allegations in the absence of a strong legal defense.
- Child support — While both mothers and fathers may be responsible for child support, child support is more frequently a father's issue since mothers receive primary custody in the vast majority of cases. Men facing unreasonable support demands or unfounded accusations of paternity can be made liable for many thousands of dollars in support each year unless they adequately respond.
Pursuing Justice For Fathers Everywhere
The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving is the leading voice for fathers' rights in the Chicago area and throughout the nation. Mr. Leving has published several successful books on the subject and has been lauded by two U.S. presidents and the Illinois legislature for his dedication to the health of families and the rights of dads. To arrange a confidential consultation with our fathers' rights lawyer, call us at 312-702-0862 and contact us online to schedule a private consultation.