Residents of Lafayette and other nearby areas of Louisiana may want to learn more about the reasons why having a fathers’ rights advocate is important. You may be challenging paternity, challenging the adoption of a child, adjusting child support or visitation, or terminating your rights as a parent. The process for these actions can be daunting with a large amount of paperwork, so having an advocate in your corner can be very important. Men often have to fight for their rights while doing what is best for their family.
Referring to the legal father of a child, this could be important in cases involving child support. Other areas where paternity matters include inheritances, adoption, custody, visitation and the health care of a child. “A preponderance of the evidence” may receive consideration in certain states while other states hold paternity to a higher standard.
Both the mother and father have the rights of consent when it comes to the adoption of their child. However, the father must prove paternity in this case to exercise his rights. Each state has different adoption proceedings, which may require some knowledge to navigate. Fathers’ rights issues might come into play when there is a possibility of termination of their rights for the following reasons:
• Failure to support the child
• Mental incompetence
• Finding of parental unfitness due to abuse or neglect.
Termination of parental rights
Generally, parental rights have voluntary termination. The procedure will vary from state to state. Factors that may receive consideration include abandonment of the child, child abuse, failure to support the child or imprisonment.
Custody, child support and visitation
In recognized paternity, the father may need to pay child support and determine a visitation schedule. A family court issues orders of child support based on state guidelines. It may also be necessary to draw up a parenting agreement that includes the details of visitation, custody, education, health care and other issues relating to a child. If the parents cannot reach agreement, there may be a contest hearing.
An advocate for the rights of the father may be important. The interests of the child should be a priority, however.