America’s changing family dynamics

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in fathers’ rights on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

As American families continue to shift away from traditional dynamics, so, too, have the laws that surround them. With the rise of blended families comes the need to plan for children in the best way possible. Some Kansas parents, however, cannot seem to reach an agreement. Just as the traditional household has changed, the gendered laws that prioritize mothers in regard to child custody have faded to the background.

Last December, The Washington Post highlighted recent potential changes within child custody laws. According to the report, roughly 20 states considered creating a more balanced system that promoted shared custody of children. While lawmakers consider the modifications, father’s rights advocates have years of lobbying behind them; countless men feel they do not receive fair treatment when it comes to child custody. Critics of the proposed bills argue that they would only present setbacks in cases that involve abusive former spouses. Those in support claim the bills would update an antiquated system that prevents children from building meaningful relationships with their fathers.

As for the state of Kansas, families appear to have balanced options. The Kansas Bar Association provides a brief rundown of the state’s child custody and support guidelines, stating that trial judges in the area weigh factors of a situation seriously. For instance, judges may inspect a child’s adjustment to a home or school, as well as determine which parent may make that process smoother. In addition, judges may consider which parent will work to maintain a child’s healthy relationship with the other parent. Ultimately, it is clear that Kansas prioritizes neither mothers nor fathers because of sex — instead, a child’s best interest is always the main focus.

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