As fair and equitable treatment has become an expected norm in society and in the workplace, it seemed an obvious imbalance existed between men and women when it came to their role as fathers and mothers. Mothers have traditionally been given unquestioned time off for maternity leave and in many places, it is paid. But fathers were not given the same courtesy. As parents, this can present a real challenge. If the father is needed at home he may be allowed to go, but he may not be paid during the time. Now a new family or a family with a new addition experiences added financial challenges while handling the sleep deprivation and other obstacles that adjusting to a newborn bring.

Effective from the first day of 2018, New York joins three other U.S. states as the fourth state in the nation to offer a guaranteed family leave for a father to bond with and care for a new child and still receive partial pay. This will cover adoption and fostering children as well.

This can be extremely beneficial and shows that we cannot undermine the role of a dad or cast the male as only a breadwinner if we strive to truly be gender-neutral as a nation.

If you are feeling the challenge of demonstrating the validity of your role as a father during a custody dispute, whether through a contentious divorce or a break up as unmarried parents, you may be able to find answers from a New York family law attorney who is an advocate for fathers’ rights.