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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The Results Are In, You’re a Dad…Now What?

In most cases, you have many months to let the idea of being a father sink in.  In the case where paternity is questioned or when a father does not know that they have a child, things can be completely different.  In fact, these father’s might not find out that they have a child until that child is much older.  Many worry that they will not have the same rights as a father who knew that they had a child from birth.  The law is not in favor of keeping fathers away from their children, even if they do not find out that the child exists until later in life.


Understanding the New Definition of Family


In cases where the parents have never been married, it can be more difficult for the father to make sure that all of his rights are being upheld.  Today more than 40% of all children are born to unwed parents.  As this number continues to rise, more and more fathers need to be aware of what rights they have when they have never been married to their child’s mother.


Sometimes children are born to unwed couples that are fully committed to one another.  In this case, the child is still growing up in a home where they have two parents who are living under the same roof.  In far too many cases, the children are growing up in homes where they are never able to meet or get to know their father.  In some of these cases it is because the father has not wanted to be there, but in others it has been the mother who has kept the father in the dark about even becoming a father.  In these cases, the father can request paternity tests and once established, he can request that he have rights to have visitation with the child.


What You Need to Know When You Find Out You Are the Father


If you have been in a situation where you have not known if you were the father or not, there are some things that you should be made aware of.  Once you have established paternity, you are going to start being held responsible as the child’s father.  You are also going to want to work with the mother in order to have some paternal rights so that you can get to know your child.  Now that you have established paternity, you can move on to securing your rights for visitation and possibly even shared custody of the child.


First Things First, Get on the Birth Certificate


If paternity was established after the birth certificate was issued, then you will have to file to have the birth certificate amended.  If the paternity test was done prior to the birth, you will be able to secure your name on the birth certificate at that time.  It is important that you make sure that your name is on the birth certificate.  If you do not then should something happen to the mother, you will not have the same rights that you would if your name was on it.


Understand Your State’s Legislature


Each state is different in the rights that a father has.  However, there are some states where you can be placed on a registrar so that you are notified should anything legal take place with the child.  This could include someone trying to adopt the child, the mother waving her rights, or in the event that your child’s custody is questioned in court for any reason.


Fight for Custody Rights or Visitations


When you have finished with this, you should take the time to make sure that you have the rights that you deserve.  This includes fighting for some form of custody or visitation.  It is important that you are aware of the rights that you have and that you are able to see your child on a regular basis.  In some cases, you might be able to get awarded certain types of custody.  However, if you are not make sure that you take up all of the visitation time that you are offered.  Doing this will give you the basis that you need to fight for custody in the future.


Be Prepared to Support Your Child


Once you start fighting for rights, you must be ready to hold up the responsibilities.  Make sure that you are prepared to support your child by paying child support and helping cover expenses for things that your child needs.  While you might not feel that what you are asked to pay is fair, do it in good conscience that you are doing what is right for your child to be raised in a healthy and stable environment.


Being a father takes time and effort.  It can be quite a shock when you find out that you are a father after having not known that your ex was pregnant.  Regardless of how you find out.  Once you know that you are a father, there are certain rights and responsibilities that you should have.



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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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Why Should I Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity if you are not on your child’s birth certificate offers you a lot of protection that you would not have otherwise. One thing is for certain, if you are not 100% sure that a child is yours then you should never sign a birth certificate. If you voluntarily acknowledge that you are the father, you are going to be held legally responsible for the child. In some cases you might even be held financially responsible even if the child is proven to be someone else’s. This is because if you are acknowledging the child to be yours, then you are acknowledging your intent to take care of that child.

There are many reasons that you might have even considered that it is really important to establish paternity and file for joint or physical custody. Even if you plan on raising and caring for the child if it is not yours, you will still want to know who the child’s biological father is.

Benefits of Fatherhood

There are so many benefits to being a father. You get to help raise the person that you helped to create. You can help them to grow into an adult who has a certain type of character and has a certain type of drive. This also means that you get to help raise the child and spend time with them.

Financial Responsibility

Another reason that you should establish paternity is to see if you should be held financially responsible for the child. If you sign your name to the birth certificate, regardless of if you are really the child’s father, there is a chance that you will be financially responsible for this child. This could mean a lot more than just child support which you might be okay with. If there is a medical emergency or a condition, you’d be held responsible for the hospital bills as well.

Inheritance Rights

If you stand to receive an inheritance it is essential that you establish paternity. The main reason for this is that even if this is the first child in your life, if you have children later with someone else, it is unlikely that you are going to want for your children to do without because someone wasn’t honest with you. There are many other issues and factors that play into inheritances too. In some states you might even have to give up some of an inheritance to the mother of the child as a part of your child support.

Medical Benefits

Many people do not realize how important it is as a father to have a clear medical history for your child. You want to know what types of diseases and problems run in the family so that you can have early detection rather than not knowing if something is wrong with the child. By establishing paternity, you are going to have all of the important medical information that you need for the child.

Legal Benefits

There are also legal benefits in determining paternity. If you end up separating from the mom of the child, you are going to be able to get visitation rights. You could also potentially have custodial rights. This is all something that you would not have if you have not established paternity and the mother suddenly changed her mind and said that you were really not the father. So you are protecting yourself in all situations by establishing paternity.

Emotional Benefits

Finally, you are going to have a peace of mind when it comes to your child. You will never have to worry that the child might not really be yours or if it could have been an attempt by the mother to make a failing relationship work. You are going to be able to have the emotional freedom to really love the child as well. This is something that you might not be able to do if you end up wondering if the child is really yours.

Knowing your rights and establishing paternity is important for any father. If you find yourself in this situation and are unsure of how to proceed, you can talk to a lawyer. Most lawyers offer you a free consultation where they can advise you of your rights and what services they could

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