While the courts usually have a bias towards the mother during a divorce case, the father does have some rights which he should fight for. As a rule, the court can’t use sex or gender as a deciding factor. However, this principle doesn’t always apply in real life. This is why a father has to know how to fight for his rights more strongly if he wants custody of his child.
Of course, the first move of the father should be to get a child custody and child support attorney to help him. This way, he will have some merits in courts and will be able to understand his rights. To know some of the basic custody rights of fathers, read on below.
Rights of Unmarried Fathers
First, let’s take a look at the rights of unmarried fathers. Back in the day, unmarried men never had any rights to their children. However, these days even an unmarried father can enjoy custody rights should he prove that he is the biological father of the child in court.
The biological father has the right to acknowledge that he is the father legally. Both parents then have to sign the acknowledgment to prove that it is true. In the event that the mother does not sign the acknowledgment document, the father can file a case in the local court. This is called a paternity suit.
In this type of case, the father has to show evidence that he is the biological father of the child. Evidence includes a blood test or a DNA test. Once the court gets the proof, he is acknowledged as the biological father. He will then have the same custody rights as the mother.
Rights of Married Fathers
If you and the mother of the child did marry, had the child, but got a divorce, the court legally recognizes you as the biological father. With that, the court acknowledges that you can make decisions for the welfare of the child. So the arrangements of the child will depend on the arrangement of both you and the mother.
In the event that both parties can’t reach an arrangement, the court will make the arrangement for the parties. The judge would take into consideration:
- Physical health of both parties
- Mental health of both parties
- Financial stability of both parties
- Preference of the child
- Individual contributions to the child’s life
No matter who gets the child, one of the parties must pay child support. The one without the custody of the child has to pay for it. The money will be used in paying the child’s daily necessities and in improving his or her welfare. Of course, the specific amount will depend on several factors that the court deems fair.
While fathers may sometimes get the raw end of the deal with regard to custodial rights of their child, there are ways to work around it. This is why you need to know exactly what your rights are. You also need a good lawyer to defend your case. This will help you get a good arrangement with your ex-spouse with regard to custody.