Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz, P.C.

Will starlet become poster child for fathers' rights violations?

The celebrity glow of Kate Winslet could show up on a different type of campaign. It isn't a movie ad or fashion layout that one group is trying to publish for its cause. Advocacy group for fathers' rights, Fathers4Justice have an ad ready to go that has raised Winslet's perfectly tweezed eyebrow.

F4J sees Winslet's parenting and family decisions as a threat to its cause and the cause of fathers everywhere, even here in Arizona. You see, the Oscar-winning actress has three children, all from different fathers, and suggests that she is the sole caregiver. It seems it is the way that Winslet phrased her response in a Vogue piece that has ruffled the fathers' feathers.

Regarding other opinions the star claims to have heard about the apparent instability of her family, she told Vogue, "My children live with me. That is it." The longer version of her quote includes statements that suggest Winslet's children don't regularly see their fathers -- and that is good in the star's eyes.

But is that good? That is the basic question that the fathers rights group in this scenario wants the public, including Winslet, to ponder. Is a "50/50" parenting situation really something for families, either divorced or not, to avoid? Courts generally do recognize that having both parents in a child's life is in his or her best interests, as long as both parents are stable, healthy people.

Different parent situations exist. Maybe Winslet and her exes (the father of her children) agree that shared parenting isn't for them. If that suits the parents' wishes and the kids are okay for it, then that is up to them. When a father wants to be a part of his child's life and is pushed away, however, he has every right to vigilantly fight for his rights as a parent, including custody and visitation.

In Arizona, fathers who are not married to the mothers of their kids have no immediate legal rights to their children, even with proven paternity. If they want custody and/or visitation, they must go through the family court to establish their parental rights. A family law attorney is crucial in the effort toward awarding someone his rights as a father.

Source: New York Magazine, "Kate Winslet Versus the Men’s Rights Activists," Kat Stoeffel, Dec. 19, 2013

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