If you are a father about to begin divorce proceedings with your current spouse, it is natural to worry about your rights regarding your children. It is often difficult for fathers to assert their right as a parent after a divorce, but a Chattanooga fathers’ rights lawyer may be able to help you be in your child’s life the way you believe you should. A dedicated family attorney could be the ally you need to prove to the court that you deserve to have some measure of control over your child’s life.
Fathers in Chattanooga typically call attorneys to help them when there is a challenge to their rights, often involving:
State law assigns custody directly to mothers if the child’s parents are unmarried. As long as the mother’s name is on the birth certificate, no further action is required. To secure rights to time with the child, a father must establish paternity. One way of doing this is by accepting paternity with a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity document. Such documents are provided by the hospital where the baby was born. A father may also establish paternity with a DNA test. Once paternal rights are proven, the father can request parenting time or custody from the court with help from a compassionate Chattanooga attorney.
If the father and mother agree to joint custody, the court would typically approve the agreement since it is in the child’s best interest. If the parents cannot agree on joint custody terms, the court would make custody decisions and assigns monthly child support payments to the non-custodial parent. Even if the mother wins primary physical custody of the child, she must agree to a parenting plan with the father determining visitation schedules. If both parents enjoy legal custody, the parenting plan must include decisions regarding the child’s health and wellness, education, and religious upbringing.
If a mother wants to give her baby up for adoption, the father has first rights regarding custody, even over grandparents and other extended family on the mother’s side. The mother must legally notify the father about her plans before giving the child up, otherwise, the adoption will be unlawful. Another party may only take custody of the child if the father forfeits his custodial rights.
If you have a paternity or custody issue to dispute, contact a Chattanooga fathers’ rights lawyer to get the support you need. Your child deserves to be raised with you in their life. Make it clear you care about the health and welfare of your child by taking decisive legal action. While the law may default to protect mothers in some situations, as a father, you have a right to see your children thrive. Call a Chattanooga fathers’ rights lawyer today to schedule a consultation for your case.