In Honor of Father’s Day: Paternity Law Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Rights

Do Father's Rights Stand Up Equally in Court?

Possibly. An unmarried father may not have the same visitation and child custody rights as a married Father. If you fathered a child and wish to have sole child custody, shared custody or visitation rights regarding that child your child custody case may be more difficult than if you were the mother. If the father wants the right to play an active and constructive role in his child's life, a child visitation lawyer will be needed to assist you in determining the best way for you to proceed.

What Are Some of the Differences?

For instance , an unmarried father cannot prevent his child from taking their mother's surname. This would apply even if he/she previously had his surname. In addition, the father may be forbidden from taking his child abroad on a vacation and may not legally have any input into the child's religion or school. The harsh reality is that he may have no say or input into his child's life at all. Even worse: the unmarried father possibly does not even have an automatic right to custody of his child if the Mother dies.

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are of course exceptions to these general rules. The law regarding unmarried Fathers has changed regarding children born after December 1st, 2003. If the father's name appears on the birth certificate and his child was born after this date he has the same legal rights as a previously married Father. If, however; you are not listed on the birth certificate, you would have limited or no rights regarding a child. In this case, the urgency of a paternity action and DNA test cannot be overstated. You are in need of family law attorney child custody experts immediately.

What Does a Paternity Law Attorney Do?

The right Paternity Law Attorney will help you legally assert your rights as a father. Through effective representation in the family law courts, he or she will work to gain the right to a court-ordered DNA test, and then provide aggressive advocacy for your custody, support and visitation goals. Just because you are unmarried, or have not been listed as the legal father, you do still have rights.

What is Next?

One of the first steps is to establish parental rights. This can be a complicated and often contentious legal maneuver. You will need to establish your individual rights and obligations under the state paternity laws. Make sure you have the right paternity law lawyer by your side. You need to legally assert your rights as a father and start the proper paternity action, in order to be a part of your child's life.