Although Kansas law specifies that neither the father nor the mother should have preferential treatment when it comes to child custody, many fathers feel that they have been treated unfairly by the court system when it comes to custody and visitation rights. In these situations, a seasoned family law attorney can assert your parental rights, and ensure that you are able to continue to parent your children.

Types of Child Custody

There are two types of custody: 

  • physical custody (where the child resides) 
  • legal custody (the ability to make decisions about the child’s upbringing). 

Joint legal custody is preferred by Kansas courts, and it implies that both parents — mother and father — will each have a say in major decisions in a child’s life.  

This could include decisions on:

  • Education
  • Medical treatment
  • Religion
  • Discipline
  • Sports and activities

Under a joint legal custody arrangement, the right to make these decisions is to be shared equally between the parents.

In most situations, a child resides primarily with one parent (the residential parent, or the parent with primary physical custody), and spends time with the other parent during parenting time or visitation. When a child splits time equally (or nearly equally) between both parents, it is called shared physical residents.

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Knowing Your Rights

If you are the non-residential or non-custodial parent, you still have parental rights, including the right to spend time with your child, known as visitation or parenting time. In less contentious cases, courts may order “reasonable” parenting time, and allow the parents to set a schedule that works for them. Reasonable parenting time means that the parent has the right to see that child (1) at reasonable times (2) under reasonable circumstances (3) after adequate notice.

If a parent has sole legal and physical custody, that means that he or she makes all of the major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and the child lives with that parent. The non-custodial parent may have specific or limited visitation rights, including supervised visitation.

Sole custody may be awarded in cases where the other parent has a history of violence or substance abuse, or in cases where the parent is not involved in the child’s life because he or she is in jail or mentally ill.

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Father’s Rights Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas

Courts are not permitted to make a custody determination based on the gender of the parent, regardless of the age of the child involved. If you are worried that a judge will grant custody to your children’s mother due to gender, you need a skilled father’s rights attorney to advocate for your parental rights. Jeffers Law Office offers experienced, compassionate legal services to fathers who wish to assert their rights to physical and legal custody of their children. Contact attorney Mark Jeffers today to discuss your case today.