Many fathers across the United States, including in Arkansas, suffer an underdog’s complex, feeling strongly that they face an uphill battle on many fronts when seeking to promote their legal and parental rights in a court of law.

Fathers’ rights groups have arisen and organized around core concerns that dads have regarding their desire to be centrally involved in their children’s lives. Many men feel, based on both anecdotal evidence and judicial outcomes that they can readily point to, that the playing field when it comes to family law is tilted in favor of women.

A recent written court ruling from a New Jersey state judge is certainly not going to dissuade that sentiment.

In fact, the outcome from last week is likely to result in a firestorm of criticism from fathers’ rights groups questioning its rationale and fairness.

In a nutshell, the case ruling held this: Unwed dads do not have any right to be present in a delivery room without first receiving the mother’s consent to be there.

Reportedly, such a matter was never before litigated, notwithstanding how common it has become over past decades for many dads to share intimately in the birthing experience.

The judge in the New Jersey case didn’t mince his words, noting flatly that a father’s interests “are subordinate to the mother’s interests” prior to birth.

The court pointed to a pair of United States Supreme Court decisions as foundational supports for its ruling. Those cases, noted the judge, state that a pregnant woman has compelling interests to privacy and over her body that outweigh any interests raised by a father.

Fathers often have family law-related concerns. An experienced fathers’ rights attorney can answer questions and provide diligent representation in any matter related to custody, support or other concerns.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “N.J. judge cites women’s rights in barring unwed dad from child’s birth,” Patrik Jonsson, March 12, 2014