In London’s famous Hyde Park, several fathers’ rights activists camped on the roof of a building at the main entrance of the park for several days last week. The protesters were subsequently arrested when they descended.
Police were alerted early last week when five men and one woman climbed the Apsley Gate entrance to central London’s largest park. Of the total six protesters, two men and one woman are British, while the two other men are French and the sixth man is an American who has lived in France for decades, according to reports.
The protesters are apart of a group called Human Worth, and were acting in support of New Fathers 4 Justice, which campaigns and raises awareness for greater fathers rights following couples divorcing or separating. “New Fathers 4 Justice want nothing less than a legal presumption of 50/50 contact for a child with their parents if they split up,” the group states on its website.
“Judges start out with the mindset that both parents are important to the development of the children, often the Judge will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to assist the Judge in crafting the best parenting plan possible,” says Carla Zolman of the Zolman Law Firm. “Judges are very good at distinguishing between a parent’s assertation that the other parent has serious issues that would impair their ability to parent the children versus a parent that is trying to alienate the children from their other parent.”
This event highlights highlights the changing family dynamic of many modern American families following divorce or separation. People are used to hearing about the struggles of single mothers, however, single fathers are becoming increasingly popular and their struggles are drawing awareness to this important cause. Unfortunately, many fathers are completely unaware of their legal, paternal rights, when in fact, fathers have just as many rights as biological mothers.
Until paternity is established, the biological father does not have the legal rights or responsibilities of a parent. Formally establishing paternity is about much more than a monthly child support check. Every child has the right to know and be known by his or her father, and develop a loving relationship with them. Establishing paternal rights is especially important for couples who are not married. This ensures the child has the same rights and benefits as those born to married parents.
Fathers are encouraged to contact their local family law attorney in order to discuss their rights and options.