Child custody is a complicated matter that involves many detailed personal factors as well as legal requirements and standards. For fathers struggling through custody disputes, this process can highly stressful.
If you are involved in a battle over your children’s custody, you should not face these issues alone. A West Lake Hills fathers’ rights lawyer could provide you counsel and answer your questions. The family attorneys at our firm understand the importance of protecting your parental rights and your relationship with your children.
Why is Establishing Paternity Important to a Father’s Rights?
Fathers have equal rights in a custody decision, so long as they have legally established their paternity. While men who are married to the mother of their child are automatically presumed to be this child’s father, other men may have to go through a legal process to do so. A father may do this by either signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form or filing a petition with the court. Only a father who has legally established his paternity has any legal right to visitation with his child as well as making decisions regarding how they are raised. A lawyer in West Lake Hills could help a father establish his rights by going through this process with him.
Father’s Rights to See their Children
Fathers have the right to spend time with their children and to be involved in the critical decisions related to their care and upbringing. However, sometimes a father might need to prove paternity in order to assert those rights. When it comes to physical custody, the courts will look at the children’s best interests, even if that means limiting a parent’s time with their child.
It is important to note that courts do not look kindly on one parent trying to box out the other when it comes to custody. Fathers who feel that they are not able to take part in parenting because of the other party should speak to their lawyer about ensuring that they have plenty of parenting time. If the court sets a parenting schedule, and the co-parent is violating that agreement, a father can take the co-parent to court and the judge might hold that party in contempt for their behavior.
If two people do not have a parenting agreement, and the co-parent is blocking the father’s access to the child, that father should consider filing a petition for custody. A West Lake Hills lawyer could help a father protect his custody rights.
The Right to Make Decisions
Another aspect of custody is decision-making. Fathers have the right to make important decisions related to their children’s medical care, education, and religious upbringing. However, when parents are not a couple, these matters can become complicated.
A court can award legal custody and the right to make decisions to one parent or decide that both parents will take part. If a co-parent is not allowing a father to contribute to these decisions, then that father should consult with a lawyer.
Courts typically prefer that both parents have a say on important issues related to their children, but if the parents cannot work together the court will award that right to one parent. If a co-parent intentionally denies a father the right to be involved, the court will often view that behavior as alienating, and it might work against that parent’s ability to serve in a decision-making role. Fathers should consult a West Lake Hills attorney about decision-making rights.
Contact a West Lake Hills Fathers’ Rights Attorney
Fathers engaged in legal disputes should learn about their rights. If you have questions regarding your rights and obligations as a parent, you should reach out to an experienced attorney. Call a Westlake Hills fathers’ rights lawyer today to discuss your case.