Unwed Father’s Rights
Whether it is excitement or fear, the arrival of a new child brings a rush of emotion to each father. From the first time each father holds his little child he wants to be a part of that child’s life forever. Unfortunately, many dads will feel the sting of getting shut out of their child’s life if the relationship with the mother breaks down. Imagine, without warning, you cannot see and spend time with your child. You don’t get a say if there is a medical emergency for your child. You don’t even have a right to call them on the phone. Can you imagine the heartache of getting locked out of your own child’s life?
More and more children are being born into relationships where the parents have chosen not to be married. After the birth of the child many arrange ments for declaring the father can be made, but the most frequently used is called a recognition of parentage form. With this form, the father is listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father, and the father now has a legal obligation to pay child support. That is it. The recognition of parentage does not provide you, as the father, with parenting rights. The recognition of parentage is not even a final determination that you are the father of your own child. And that is where trouble begins.
You see, if you have been declared the father of your child with only a recognition of parentage form, you still have no parenting rights with your child. The mother, by law, has all control over the child. The mother has physical custody of the child, which is the right to care for, control, and spend time with the child, and the mother has legal custody of the child, which is the right to make decisions for the child such as medical care, religious upbringing, and school choice. You just have to write the monthly child support check.
Now you have to bring a custody action against the mother to obtain any parenting rights and to be able to see your child. This can be a costly and time consuming process when the mother and father disagree on parenting issues. You will most likely have to hire an attorney, attend many court hearings, and you may have to go through custody evaluations where your life is reviewed to determine if you are fit to spend time with your own child. You are looking at even bigger problems if the mother alleges that you hit her or were physical with her. If the mother brings an order for protection action against you during this custody process, your chances of having equal parenting rights are greatly diminished.
If you are a father and only have a recognition of parentage or nothing in place for your child, please call the Zajac Law Firm today. With the Zajac Law Firm we can help you secure and protect your parental rights before it becomes a problem. If you and the mother of your children are still together we can help you quickly and efficiently get a court order in place to confirm you are the father and establish your rights as the father of your child in case of a relationship split. Once your rights to physical custody and legal custody are established in a court order, no one can change that without going through the court process. If you are a father, make sure you protect your rights as a father. Don’t get locked out of your child’s life. Take the time now to make sure you can always be there for your child.