In addition to the stress that divorce procedures often induce, deciding parental rights can be an incredibly challenging ordeal. There are many cases in which fathers do not gain adequate or fair rights to their children. Similar to other states in America, Indiana prioritizes the best interests of children involved in divorce, and fathers may choose to move forward through legal processes in order to gain partial or full custody of their children.
In a special report on fathers' rights, WSBT22 News recognizes that, contrary to what many might assume, fathers have equal rights to custody of their children under law. Nevertheless, the report also reveals that some fathers still claim their rights are not equal to that of mothers. One Indiana resident admitted to the news station that, despite these alleged equal rights, the court has yet to grant him more time with his children. In this case, the children requested more time with their father, as well. The report goes on to state that, after divorce, 5 out of 6 mothers become the custodial parent; only 1 in 6 fathers gets the same treatment. The father's rights movement initially set out to address this imbalance, but another deep-seated issue lies in the financial burden the system inflicts upon low-income fathers, who generally pay 55 percent of their gross income if legally identified as non-custodial parents.
The state of Indiana's website provides the legal details of fathers' rights, noting that in order for fathers to establish happy and healthy relationships with their children, making the relationship legal must first occur. The site also reminds Indiana fathers that by establishing paternity at the beginning of the legal process, fathers may ensure a more secure relationship for the future. Individuals may confirm paternity in a number of ways. If there is doubt in determining paternity, fathers may seek a paternity affidavit, or proceed with court orders.