Fathers deserve a fair shake during custody proceedings and an equitable role in making the important parental decisions for their children. Unfortunately, not all fathers receive fair treatment in family court. If you are facing divorce or other child custody issues, your rights as a father may hang in the balance. To protect your rights, consider seeking the counsel of an Agoura Hills fathers’ rights lawyer right away.
A dedicated family law attorney could help assert your rights and advocate for them during the process.
Married fathers have a clear path to enforcing their paternity rights during a divorce case or other form of child custody proceeding. The same is not true for a father who was never legally married to the mother. For a father to enforce their legal rights, they must first establish paternity.
Paternity is the formal designation of a man as the father of a child. Outside of marriage, paternity can be established in a few different ways. The simplest method is for the father to acknowledge the child as their own at the time of their birth by signing the birth certificate. However, if a declaration of paternity was not entered, a father must seek legal action to determine paternity. This typically requires the use of a DNA test.
No matter how paternity is established, this designation is critical to enforcing any parental rights. A fathers’ rights attorney in Agoura Hills could assist with the paternity process and confirm an individual understands their options.
There are numerous ways an Agoura Hills attorney could advance a father’s paternal rights. Often, these disputes center on visitation or custody agreements. While state law does not favor one parent over the other, it is not unusual for some judges to overtly favor the mother in these cases. Fortunately, a qualified lawyer could help push back on this favoritism by establishing that it is in the child’s best interest to be with their father.
Other situations where a father’s rights could be invoked include potential adoptions by third parties—specifically by stepfathers who have subsequently married the mother of the child. Many fathers choose to fight back against any attempt by another man to adopt their children.
Similarly, a father could also have objections related to a child’s caregiver when they are not in his custody. Both parents have a say in who can care for or be around their children, even when the child is staying with the other.
A hotly disputed issue that requires the guidance of experienced legal counsel is the intention to relocate with a child. Whether it is the father seeking to relocate or prevent the mother from leaving with their child, these cases are rarely simple to resolve. Cases that could see a father’s child relocated out of state are especially contentious. An Agoura Hills attorney could ensure the father’s rights are heard during a hearing on relocation.
Your child deserves a committed father to play a central role in their life, and an attorney could help you protect the bond you have with your child.
If you are ready to take the steps necessary to protect your rights, there is no time to delay. Reach out to an Agoura Hills fathers’ rights lawyer as soon as possible.