Having a child’s best interest does not always involve giving them what they want. Sometimes what they want can lead to failure. Sometimes what a child wants is not in their best interest. If you have a major influence in a child’s life, whether it be your children, grandchildren, students, etc, you have an obligation to advocate for what is right above what a child wants. However, when adults have their own selfish agenda, they tend to place their needs above the prioritization of a child’s needs and best interests.
When parents divorce or separate, the discussion of where children will reside is the first thing to hit the table. Especially in high-conflict divorce matters. While laws giving mothers preferential custody rights no longer exist, oftentimes, mothers are generally granted sole custody. Society has this traditional misconception and presumption that mothers are better fit to take care of children's emotional and physical needs. Consequently, it takes away the father’s right to be a father. Family courts have designed fatherhood to only be valued monetarily. This bias that exists within society has caused children to remain in unfit homes with mothers who are unable to provide adequate care and support for their children. When parents have unresolved issues and are unable to co-parent, it can be detrimental to a child’s well-being to remain in an unfit environment.
Fathers need to understand their role and rights. With understanding their rights, fathers MUST be willing to fight in family court to protect their child’s well-being when a mother has PROVEN to be unfit. Traditionally, society does not empower fathers to fight for their rights. And courts have systematically made custody battles hard for fathers to win. However, with genuine consistency, effort, and care, a father can prepare his argument in court to obtain the necessary rights for his children. Irrespective of what the child wants, children will often lean towards the parent with whom they have lived with the most. However ensuring that the best interests and needs of the children are at the forefront of these situations demands careful consideration, empathy, and a commitment to fostering a safe and nurturing environment.
My husband and his ex-wife have gone through a great deal of drama due to unresolved issues that ultimately led to their divorce. But irrespective of the details surrounding my husband’s divorce and his relationship with his ex-wife, it is undeniable that his daughter would greatly benefit from having the meaningful presence of her father in her life. My husband is fully capable of being a father to his daughter and providing a structured, safe, and effective home. However, we must ask ourselves as women: why is the decision to alienate a child from their father if they have proven to be more stable and viable fathers? A mother’s decision to struggle through life with her children when they have fathers who can and are willing to be present has proven to have lifelong consequences that can physiologically affect a child.