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What authority do you retain as a divorced dad?

28858038_S.jpgIt may be easy to feel as though you are being squeezed out of your children's lives after having divorced their mother. This is likely due to the perception amongst many in Wichita that mothers are typically favored by the courts in custodial matters. While the law states that technically no parent is favored in custodial proceedings, the aforementioned perception is supported by statistics, which generally show that custodial parents are often mothers. Yet simply because that has been a historical trend does not mean it applies to your case. Indeed, you should be aware of what authority you retain as a divorced father. 

Just what are those? It depends on your unique situation. According to the Kansas Bar Association, if your ex-wife has been granted sole custody of your children, then she is also empowered with decision-making authority. This allows her to make important decisions regarding your children's primary residence, where they will go to school and what activities they will participate in. She also makes the decisions regarding their health care. You are allowed input in these areas, yet ultimately, the final say is hers. 

Keep in mind, however, that this is only true if she retains full custody. Kansas state law places the well-being of your children above all else when making decisions regarding custody, and it is the default assumption of family court that children are best served when both parents are equally involved in their lives. Thus, joint custody arrangements are quickly becoming the norm. If this describes your custodial situation, then you should know that in such a scenario, decision-making authority is shared. This means that you have equal input into every important element of your children's lives. 

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