Joel Bernheim: Family Courts Discriminate Against Fathers
Fathers who face legal issues regarding child custody and paternity rights face serious complications from the court systems. Joel Bernheim, fathers’ rights activist, has experienced these issues firsthand and strives to improve them.
Chicago, Illinois (I-Newswire) June 27, 2012 - When divorce occurs, it is characteristically challenging for a father to receive adequate rights regarding child custody and visitation. Although there have been many efforts to reduce the imbalance between mother and father favoritism, the process is still very difficult for men to achieve desirable results in family court. A recent article from The Huffington Post reveals that issues concerning fathers’ rights are exponentially problematic if the child was born out of wedlock. The article issues three suggestions for father’s who were unwed during the time of their child’s birth. Joel Bernheim, father’s rights activist, encourages all men who are concerned about their parental rights to follow these tips.
The article’s author, Joseph E. Cordell, has learned from his experience as a family law attorney. He comments, “There is no doubt when a child is born who the mother is, but unmarried fathers are often denied the parental designation until the proper procedures are taken.” He and Joel Bernheim both encourage men to stay active in the biological connection to their child to establish a clear history of compassion and interest in the child’s life.
One such “proper procedure” involves getting the father’s name on the birth certificate. If the information is not provided by the mother at the time of the birth or withheld, the father can opt to change these records through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity; they are available at most hospitals or through the state’s Department of Records.
However, according to Joel Bernheim, these attempts are not always as simple as they seem. He notes, “The issues facing married fathers in matters of divorce, custody and even visitation are never ending. Unmarried fathers are quickly learning that these hurdles are made much more difficult if they do not formalize their biological relationship with their children.”
The two other suggestions from the article concern establishing clear records of paternity. Many administrative agencies are helpful to fathers through this process and can help them attain appropriate DNA tests. When these efforts fail, the father should refer to his regional circuit and family courts to obtain a court order to establish paternity.
Once these obstacles are met, a father stands a much greater chance of receiving adequate rights for visitation and custody. However, the Cordell urges fathers, “If paternity has not been established, a father has no legal standing if the mother decides she no longer wants the kids to see him. There is nothing legally preventing the mother from withholding the children from their father.”
Joel Bernheim concludes by noting that the presence of active and caring fathers is encouraging to the overall movement; however, the continuing imbalance is still disheartening. “Married or un-married, fathers continue to be at a universal disadvantage.”
Joel Bernheim works within the asset receivables management industry. He currently serves as Executive Vice-President of Operations at the Illinois Company Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC. He is also an outspoken activist and philanthropist for fathers’ rights. His support of this movement stems from his own experiences as a single father.
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Published On:June 27, 2012
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