Many children and families in Jefferson County, Colorado, celebrated Father's Day on Sunday, June 15. There are kids who made Father's Day cards for their dad or baked them cakes or cookies, while others simply spent quality time together. Celebrating Father's Day not only marks the day dedicated to men who work hard to provide and care for their children. Father's Day also emphasizes a father's rights in spite of divorce or legal separation.

In fact, there are experts and legal professionals who have seen a rising number of fathers exercising their rights to be more involved with their children's lives. There is also evidence showing that fathers are more willing to raise their child in the event of divorce or separation. Unlike before, when mothers were considered to be the parent who could provide the best primary care for the children, dads are becoming adamant that their role as fathers should be respected in family law court and they want to change the traditional mindset of most people about fathers.

As more fathers exercise and protect their rights, custody laws in most states are also changing. Some states are considering changing their child custody laws amid research that shows that a father's involvement is significant to a child's emotional and physical welfare. There are also states that encourage parents to have shared custody instead of sole custody. Shared custody laws differ from state-to-state, and one provision in one state can be analyzed differently in another state.

For those fathers who are fighting for custody and who were not formally married to the mother, father's rights may be a bit different. Unmarried fathers must establish their paternity first before claiming parental responsibilities over the child. In Colorado, establishing paternity can be settled through a DNA test or an agreement between the parents. Determining paternity may not only give a father parental rights, it can also provide additional care and financial support for a child.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday," June 14, 2014