Protection for Fathers' Rights
Over the years, the unjust bias towards mothers in child custody cases has been unveiled, and many family courts are now taking measures to prevent this from occurring in the future. If you are a father going through divorce and intend to keep custody of your children, it is vitally important to talk to a lawyer about the best way of preserving your rights as a dad. Without the resources of a divorce attorney on your case, a pretrial bias may enter the court room favoring the side of the mother, even if you are a better fit for custody.
When handling family law matters such as divorce, the Law Office of Dan Kirby makes sure that our clients and their families find the best possible results. We will always keep the
best interest of the child in mind when helping you fight for custody. The decision that you and spouse make regarding
child custody will have a huge impact on your child's life, as the custodial parent will be the one to raise this child, teach their beliefs and make important decisions regarding the child's education.
Information for Unmarried Fathers
Fathers are legally granted rights to their children whether or not they are married to the child's mother or are even in a relationship with her. As mentioned above, it is always the court's objective to provide resources and accommodations considered to be in the best interest of the child. As such, it is generally assumed that involvement of both parents will be best for the child at hand. This belief holds true whether the father was once married to the child's mother or the two were never wed. When it comes to protecting a child's best interests, courts lean towards allowing visitation and decision making rights to both the mother and the father.
A crucial step in providing fathers with the parental rights they are legally entitled to is establishing paternity. When the mother and father of a child are not married at the time of the child's birth it is necessary and legally expected that the father's paternity will be officially established. This is the only way to secure the rights that a father has to his child. When the mother is in agreement that the father is who he says he is, establishing paternity takes no more than having both parents sign an acknowledgement of paternity and file it with the state court or agency. This can be done at birth or soon thereafter.
When the paternity of a child is in dispute, more drastic means of establishment will need to be taken. Specifically, DNA testing will be conducted to conclusively clarify the identity of a child's father. Once paternity has been successfully established, the father can then pursue his rights to child custody and visitation. When the mother and father cannot come to an agreement on visitation and custody rights of their children the two can petition the court to resolve the matters at hand. In some cases, these measures are necessary to secure a father the rights he is legally entitled to when it comes to visiting and / or parenting a child when no marriage or relationship exists with the mother.
Learn About Your Rights as a Father
While it sometimes appears that child custody is the largest factor in a divorce, there are many more elements of a divorce that fathers must deal with as well. Decisions must be made regarding child support,
property division, and asset and debt division. After the divorce and court orders have been finalized, you may need to
modify child custody, child support or spousal support if circumstances in your life or your ex-spouse's life change. Our firm can help with
enforcement of court orders if you are having trouble with getting your ex to make support payments.