Do Fathers Have Equal Rights? – Divorce Attorney in Suffolk County
When considering a divorce, custody is one of the most problematic situations to resolve. As a father, you always want the best for your child, yet do not want to feel left out of their lives. Like the mother, the father has an influential impact on the child’s well-being and development. Co-parenting is a big adjustment following divorce, but it is definitely worth staying in your child’s life. Parenting is a team of two, but does each parent have equal rights in regards to the child? At Simonetti & Associates, our experienced lawyers will fight for you if you need a divorce attorney in Suffolk County.
The father’s rights for a child are highly influential on whether he has paternity. Paternity determines who is officially the father, not just the name written on the child’s birth certificate.
There are a few ways paternity can be established:
- The father has paternity when he is married to the mother at the child’s birth.
- The father gains paternity when he marries the mother by signing a legitimation form.
- The father gains paternity when he never marries the mother and it is established voluntarily:
- The father’s identity must be certain.
- He and the mother sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity
- The father gains paternity after the mother files a paternity action to prove her child’s father is truly the father.
If a man is informally considered a child’s father, it is harder in court for a divorce attorney in Suffolk County to determine his rights.
If the parents cannot come to a mutual agreement, they use a parenting agreement prior to their court case. Here, they try to list who has legal and physical custody:
- Legal custody – determines who is responsible for important decisions in the child’s life, such as medical decisions.
- Physical custody – assigns where the child will live.
Custody can be sole or joint. Sole custody grants one parent to make decisions. With joint custody, both parents have a say in decisions for the child. The child lives with one parent, and the noncustodial parent has visitation rights.
We understand how parenting agreements can be stressful. Your divorce attorney in Suffolk County assists in the process before the court to ensure you will gain the rights you deserve.
The father should consider a third party to contact the mother, as opposed to directly from him. A mediator brings the two parties closer together to make a decision. If she agrees to mediation, they will have a joint session. However, if she does not agree, the mediator will finish the court application form to send your case to a Judge. Court orders force a mother to allow her child to build a relationship with his/her father if she does not allow. Your divorce attorney in Suffolk County fights for what you deserve.
Best Interest of the Child
When your case is in court, the Judge determines the best interest of the child, not the parents. Factors such as location, income, ability to care for the child, and mental capacity are taken into consideration.
Just as other marital assets are an equitable distribution, so is custody. Equitable does not mean equal, however.
Parenting time can vary for the types of parents. Location, job, and ability to care for the child are some factors that can vary these rights. The child does not have to live with the mother, though. If the best interest of the child is to live with the father, then he/she will do so. The significance of the father in a child’s life depends on his ability to financially support him/her.
We understand how tenuous child custody can be during a divorce. Fatherhood is a great privilege that should not abruptly end if your marriage does. With a divorce attorney in Suffolk County, we will help relieve your stress and answer any questions you have. Schedule a free consultation today.