If you are struggling with matters associated with fathers’ rights, it’s important to learn more about your legal rights and how to move forward in a manner that allows you to spend time with your child (or children).
Even in today’s age, when gender bias is a hot button issue, fathers often feel out of place in the courtroom. Instead of feeling like a parent, the father feels like nothing more than a visitor. Below are three details that deserve your full and undivided attention, as focusing on these will help you better understand your situation:
1. Family planning
This covers many things, such as if a mother wants to put a child up for adoption but the father disagrees with the approach. In this case, the father has the right to petition for custody, instead of simply letting the adoption process move forward.
2. Child custody
Both parents have the legal right to seek custody of their child. Unfortunately, as noted above, fathers are often looked down upon by the court system. Over the years, mothers have generally received the sympathy of family courts. As a result, this works against the father, making it more difficult for him to receive a fair shake with respect to custody. A skilled family law attorney who is experienced in paternity and father’s rights can help with having the court consider you fairly in decisions related to child custody. After all, you are a parent to the child or children, too.
3. Parenting time
Even if a child is not living with his or her father, this doesn’t mean that the father doesn’t have the right to spend time with him or her. If you find yourself in this position, it’s imperative to learn more about the finer details of a parenting time agreement. In short, this is a document that is approved by the court and is used to outline each parent’s right to visitation with the child.
However, even with an agreement in place, you could face issues regarding parenting time. For instance, the mother of the child may refuse to drop him or her off at the appropriate time. If this happens, the mother is violating the court-ordered parenting time agreement, and a family law attorney can help you find a way to get the time you have a right to with your children. In some cases, courts have ordered “make-up time” for time you missed with your child because the mother was not following court orders.
How to protect your rights
Above all else, make sure you learn as much as possible about fathers’ rights. In addition to the above, don’t shy away from anything else that is impacting your ability to have a relationship with your child.
Finally, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation, as this can help you better understand your situation and make informed decisions that will work in your favor. Even if you feel that your rights as a father are being suppressed, there are things you can do to take action to regain your rights and seek justice.