Is Parenting A Right?


No, it’s not. Here’s why (in brief):

Rights cannot (or really should not) be violated. A U.S. citizen’s right to due process presumably cannot be thrown out or ignored. Obviously this is a bit more complicated, but for the purposes of this conversation, it’s apt.

A parent’s relationship with a child, unlike a right, can be limited or prohibited. A court can find that it is in a child’s best interest to have supervised visitation with a parent. A court can find that a parent is a threat to a child’s physical or emotional well-being and deny a parent’s right to visitation. Are these situations rare? Yes. Absolutely. But a parent is advised to never take his or her parental rights and responsibilities for granted.

Remember, the governing standard in most child custody decisions is the best interests standard. Is it in a child’s best interests to spend time with both parents? Yes, provided that neither parent is physically or emotionally abusive or engages in behavior that may estrange a child from the other parent.

Anyway, this brings me to the main point of this blog post, which is a blatant plug for my guest post at Since My Divorce in which I discuss the issue of the return of the absent Ex. What do you do when your Ex abandons you and your son, only to return years later and demands to be treated as a responsible parent? What are your rights, what are your son’s rights, and what are your Ex’s rights? While this is very much a jurisdiction-specific issue (the typical lawyer caveat), I hope that my post provides a bit of guidance on the issue.

You can find it here. If you leave a comment, I’ll do my best to respond with something thoughtful and hopefully useful.

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