Do dads have the same rights as moms before the divorce is final? Can a dad pick his children up at the mother’s house or at her family’s house?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
Most states have statutes that specially state that a mother and father of a child have joint custody and equal rights to the child, which is why most parents that are not involved in the legal process are not challenged when they travel with children or take them to the doctor, etc.
The issue parents may run into happens when the legal process starts. During that time, the original line of thinking tends to go away, and suddenly parents are asked to show court orders proving that they have joint custody or if this is their parenting time.
When you get friends and family involved, it can complicate things even more, especially if they are your wife’s friends and family. They may take the position of doing what they think will benefit mom over the father and not consider the effects this might have on the children.
If you are running into these issues, you should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction and possibly initiate a legal action to ensure that you have a court order stating your rights to your children.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.