Father’s Rights: 5 Things Not to Do With Child Custody

The past has shown that fathers tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce, and that’s simply not fair. However, recent times have proven that fathers do have rights, especially knowing that children benefit more from having both parents involved in their upbringing. If you are a dad recently going through divorce, then you want to ensure you don’t make the following mistakes to give you a better chance of getting what you want.


  1. Don’t let your ex be the dictator.

A child’s mother will typically feel as if she has more rights than you, and that’s not the case. Do not allow your ex to let her opinions or ideas be the dictatorship in your relationship. Instead, be sure you have voiced your own opinion and do what you can to give you ample time with your child. Be sure to hire a lawyer who will also fight for your rights.


  1. Don’t worry about money.

If your ex is being difficult, the cost of legal assistance can add up. However, if you want to be actively involved in your child’s life, then you need to continue to fight for your rights instead of allowing the financial possibilities to be the determination. There are plenty of child custody assistance programs out there that can help alleviate the costs of legal assistance or fight for your rights for you. Be sure to do your research and find the ways you can adequately receive the rights you want without the financial burdens.


  1. Don’t be greedy.

A child benefits from spending time with both parents, so it’s important you acknowledge this and don’t fight for rights you don’t deserve or that will be detrimental to your child. Try to be reasonable with your ex and get as much time with your child that you can actually agree to. For instance, if your job requires you to travel more often than not, you don’t want to fight for full custody if that time will be spent away from your child. Opting for mediation is a good way for you and your ex to try and agree to a timeline and child custody agreement that works for both of you.


  1. Don’t take the law into your own hands.

The court will do what they can to ensure the best decisions are made for your child, but sometimes you may not agree with these decisions. However, there is no benefit to trying to take the law into your own hands. For instance, if you are asked to pay child support, forgoing to make these payments out of spite will not be beneficial. In addition, taking your visitation for granted can also be detrimental to your parenting agreement and your child, so don’t do what you want just to do so.


  1. Don’t assume you’re stuck.

The court understands your situation can change over time, so don’t assume your initial child custody or divorce agreements are set in stone. If your situation changes, then don’t hesitate to go back to court and find the best solution for your new situation. For instance, if your financial

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Unwed Fathers: What Dads Need to Know

Whether you’re in a serious relationship with someone or maybe had a one-night stand, finding out you’re having a child will be a game changer, especially as the father. In most states, the law says unwed mothers have legal custody over the child, but that doesn’t mean you should just take what the law says. Instead, you need to make it a point to be in your child’s life, and this requires some work on your part, especially if you and the mother aren’t going to get married. If you are an unwed father, here are some things you need to know.


Get a paternity test.

Even if you’re 100% sure the child is yours, it’s still necessary for the courts that you get a paternity test. This gives the courts proof that you are the child’s legal father and will help you get the rights you deserve. This is done by swabbing your mouth and having your DNA and the DNA of your child run together. Once your paternity is proven, you can take the next steps to ensure you get the rights that belong to you.


Fight for your custody.

Even though an unwed mother will be granted legal custody, that doesn’t mean you can’t file for joint custody of the child. Having joint custody means you and the child’s mother get to split time equally with the children. It also means you’re both financially responsible for the child and also means you both get equal say in the rights and decisions of your children, such as their medical care, where they go to school, what religion they’ll be raised in, and more.


Fighting for custody means finding an attorney who will help you get the custody agreement you want. You will want to talk with a legal professional to see what your rights are and what you need to do to help you achieve those rights. Once you’ve talked this over, be sure to do whatever your legal representative asks of you, such as finding the financial records you need or the paperwork you need to help prove your case and get the arrangement you want.


If you and the child’s mother have a good relationship, getting your version of custody shouldn’t be that difficult to do; however, if you have a strained relationship, know that she may want to fight you on the custody, and this can turn it into a battle.


Pay your dues.

Regardless of what the courts may decide, know that your child is your financial responsibility, and it’s up to you to help support them so they can have every opportunity that’s necessary for them. The courts may require you to pay child support, and if they do, know that you need to pay this to help your child get the resources he/she needs to grow. Also know that your child support payments are a legal agreement, and not paying them could put you at risk of serving jail time.


Spend time with your child.

Children need their fathers for better development, and whether you get joint custody or only have visitation, it’s important you spend as much time with your child as possible. Be there for him/her when they need you, find fun things to do with one another, and be sure to get involved with school and activates as your child gets older. Even though you and their mom may no longer be together, that doesn’t mean there needs to be a strain on your relationship with your child.


As a father, it’s up to you to use these tips and have a successful relationship with your child.


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I’m Not on the Birth Certificate – Now What?

Many men find themselves in a situation where they know that someone is having their baby, but they are trying to say that the baby is with someone else.  Imagine the horror that you might feel if you find out that your name is not going to be on your child’s birth certificate.  Worse yet is finding out that someone else is going to have their name on the birth certificate.  It was not that long ago that a father would basically be told that he had no rights and that he should give up trying.  Thankfully today this is not case and you have legal rights that you can take full advantage of.

Realize Your Rights

Until your name is on the birth certificate, it may be difficult to have rights to your child.  You might experience problems seeing your child or spending time with them unless your child’s mother allows it.  In addition you are not responsible to care for the child.  This means that you should keep copies of checks and documentation of everything that you do for the child during this time.  This way you are not going to end up in a situation where the mom claims that you knew about the child but did nothing to attempt to support the child.

Petition to Establish Paternity

Once you realize that your name is not on the birth certificate, you can file a petition to establish paternity.  This requires you to go to court and explain why you think that the child is yours.  It also requires you to submit to a paternity test. Once the paternity test comes out positive, a petition for custody and visitations can be filed with the court.

Once Paternity is Established

Once you have proof that the child is your child, there are several different things that you can do.  If the mother is stable and taking good care of the child, one option is to petition the courts for joint custody or physical custody.    Another options is to try and get liberal visitation with the child so that you can establish a relationship with him or her.  Click here for tips on what what you should consider before filing for visitations. If the mother is not taking care of the child or if the child is in danger, you can file for sole or full custody.  These cases are hard to win unless there are police reports or child protective services records against the mother.  In some cases when the mother is doing okay but not giving the child the fullest life, you could be awarded joint custody.  Talking with a lawyer or legal specialist that specializes in custody cases is going to give you an idea of the best case scenario for your situation and what steps you need to take to proceed.

Start Offering Support for the Child

Many fathers fight against having to pay child support.  If you go to the court or child support agency and establish child support, before establishing custody or visitation, it is going to show that you are willing to do what is best for your child. This is something that is going to go a long way in the courtroom.  By showing that you are trying to take care of the child on your own, you are showing an initiative to be able to prove that you want what is best for the child.

Be Prepared to Have Your Lifestyle Examined

If the mother is fighting against you seeing the child or having any rights, then be prepared.  Be open and honest about past mistakes so that you can determine how to go about preparing to stand in front of the judge.  Many things might be brought up that the judge may frown upon.  It’s to your benefit to prove that you are a fit parent with a stable living environment and your child(ren) will be in good hands when you in your care.

It’s important to remember that no matter what route you take, custody is not about winning or losing. What matters most is what’s in the best interest of the child and doing your best to make sure the children do not become the victims of a divorce or custody battle.

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