Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dads making strides in child custody battles - NH

Portsmouth Herald


PORTSMOUTH - Family law experts say they are seeing a change from the presumption that a children are always better off with their mothers in cases of divorce.

"In 2005, I see the courts looking very carefully at both parents, at their roles in the home, to see who is the parent providing the nurturing," said Pilkington-Casey. "Courts want to know what is the father’s role, and more and more fathers have become noticeably involved with their children, through coaching, attending school events and taking the child to the doctor’s and dentist’s. Those were traditionally considered the mother roles."

"I would say there definitely is a trend toward courts considering the interest of fathers in custody matters," said Nossiff. "That’s particularly true in Maine - less in New Hampshire, and far less in Massachusetts."

Nossiff said the passage of HB640, which involves both parents planning for their children’s future, is designed to further even the field.

But fathers’ rights groups such as, are advocating for passage of HB529. The bill allows the court to begin proceeding under the premise that both parents have equal rights.

HB529 has been deferred until the 2006 session.

Michael Geanoulis is the president of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Congress for Fathers and Children. He said that 35 to 40 percent of children in this country go to bed at night without a father in the home.

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