Even when a father is committed to loving and supporting their children, they sometimes encounter issues that make their efforts complicated. When these complications occur, it’s important to seek advice from a fathers’ rights attorney and explore the potential options. There are a number of different circumstances that could cause a father to need a fathers’ rights lawyer. These are a few of the most common ones:
In some situations, paternity must be established before any kind of legal negotiation can occur. The goal of paternity establishment is to test whether the client has biologically fathered the child. This becomes particularly important if the couple is unmarried, and the mother intends to put her child up for adoption.
There are two main ways to establish legal paternity. Most commonly, both parties will simply confirm that they are the child’s biological parents. If some doubt is raised, DNA testing can be done to determine whether the client is the child’s biological father. A positive DNA test can pave the road for parental rights.
In the past, it was common for family courts to believe that mothers were the best choice for custodial parents. Mothers were considered to be more natural caregivers and nurturers. There was also a general understanding that the mother would stay home with the child, care for them, and supervise them.
Today’s modern world has done away with the majority of gender stereotypes. People live in far more diverse roles than the traditional breadwinning dad and stay-at-home mom. The circumstances that are best for the child have nothing to do with the gender of the parent.
The parent that suits the child best is just as variable as human nature. It’s entirely possible that a child’s father can provide better day-to-day care than the mother. When mothers work outside the house, a lawyer for fathers’ rights can build a case illustrating that the father is more available to provide a stable home.
Determining physical custody arrangements is just the start of the negotiations. Physical custody refers to the parent who takes care of the child physically from day to day. They make daily parenting decisions and provide basic care. Many fathers who receive full custody of their children do not receive child support payments from the mother. To ease the burden on the father, a family law lawyer can help negotiate a petition for child support payments.
Child support payments are generally based around each parent’s income. Unless the court recognizes reasons that specifically exclude child support from being awarded, the mother is expected to offer financial contributions to the child’s care. It’s the exact same situation as if a non-custodial father gave child support payments to a custodial mother.
When the father doesn’t have custody, but he does have visitation privileges, the court expects the mother to adhere to these arrangements. If the mother attempts to deny legal visitation, the father should get in contact with a lawyer to stop the actions before they can negatively impact the child.
The attorney will have to build a case against the mother. They’ll likely ask you to note every time a legal visitation is canceled or denied. If you can, you should have a third party act as your witness to the visitation denial. With this documentation, the attorney might draft a letter to the mother asking her to cease and desist her actions. When this fails, the next step is to notify the court.
The actions of the court will vary depending on the exact circumstances of the case. In some situations, the custodial parent might found to be in contempt and fined or placed under arrest.
As the child grows older, they may decide that they want to live with their non-custodial father full-time. In New York, there’s no minimum age at which a child might express these desires. If your child approaches you and states they want to live with you full time, you should get in contact with a lawyer.
Your lawyer will need to build a case proving that this living arrangement is in the best interests of the child.