Last Updated on
The role of a father in a child’s life is fundamental. This is even more critical if the parents of the child are unmarried. Unmarried fathers do not have to be worried about being involved in their child’s life because the legal system protects them as long as their involvement is in the best interest of the child. However, if you are an unmarried father, you may face several legal hurdles. This is why you need to work closely with a lawyer to defend your rights as a father.
Fathers Can Be Misunderstood
Oftentimes, when people tell stories about parents who are divorced or separated, they sometimes think that the father is the one who is more likely to leave the home and doesn’t want much to do with his children. This isn’t always how it goes down in reality. Fathers have rights to their children just as much as mothers do in New York, and most fathers do care deeply for their children and want to be in their lives. There are rights that fathers have that many might not know much about. A common fear among fathers in these situations is that they won’t win any kind of visitation in court and only be treated like a bank that sends child support each month. There have been significant changes in how fathers participate in the lives of their children, leading to a Father’s Rights movement across the United States. More people are understanding that children can live with the father just as happily as they can live with the mother, which has prompted more attorneys to look for ways to help fathers succeed in winning the right to raise their children.
Scenarios When Fathers Need Legal Help
If the parents of the child are unmarried and the mother of the child is married, then the courts will automatically assume the child is the mother’s husband. This is legally referred to as marital presumption of paternity. The court provides for mandatory paternity tests if paternity is contested.
If the parents are unmarried, then the mother decides when the father can visit the child and if they can get custody. To remedy this, you need to get in touch with a lawyer in New York who will help you get custody and visitation rights.
If the mother of your child wants child support, and you are contesting the amount of child support or even the paternity of the child, legal help will get the problem sorted out.
If you are a stepfather and do not want to financially support your spouse’s child, then you are not legally required to do this in most states including New York.
If you are a father and you have a child out of wedlock, then you are legally required to support the child until they reach 21years of age.
What Does the Law Say About Father’s Rights?
The Domestic Relations Law 70 of New York determines several issues pertaining to father’s rights.
The paternity of a child is established under this law. Paternity may be determined in two ways. The first is through the Acknowledgement of Paternity Form. This is signed at the birth of the child by both the father and mother. The second way is through the court system. If the paternity of a child is questioned, a paternity test can be petitioned through the court system.
Custody, guardianship, and visitation can be determined by the court through a habeas corpus.
Whatever the case, the legal system will always consider what is in the best interests of the child.
Once a father has signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity Form, they can seek custody and visitation from the courts. They can also seek guardianship if the mother is deemed unfit. They will first have to give evidence that the mother will not be able to take care of the child for one reason or the other.
The Family Medical Leave Act: Paternity Leave for Dads
Mothers have been eligible for maternity leave in most situations for a long time. Groups now advocate that fathers should also be able to take the same time off of work when a their new baby is born. There are some countries and states that permit this already, but many do not. A father may now use FMLA leave for the birth of a child and to care for the mother of his child who is incapacitated while recovering from pregnancy and child birth. This is true even if the mother of the child also takes FMLA leave. The only catch is that not every employee is eligible.
Filing for Custody or Visitation
Anyone with a close relation to a child including the father of a child can file for custody or visitation rights in courts according to family law. The petition for custody or visitation is filed in Family Court. If parents are getting divorced, then filing for custody can be done in the Supreme Court as part of the divorce proceedings. In this case, the custody details will be found in the Divorce Judgment. There is no cost associated with filing for custody or visitation. The services of your lawyer will depend on the experience and skills of the lawyer you choose. If a father petitions for custody or visitation in court, this is followed by documents with details of the petition being served to the mother. The court process after the petition has been filed is also done in Family Court.
Preparing for A Divorce and Custody Battle
Before the divorce decree is issued, you need to start preparing for the fight that is ahead. A lot of people have no idea how difficult it is for a family to endure a divorce. Not only is it hard on both the mom and the dad, but it is extremely difficult for the children as well.
Essentially, a divorce turns a marriage into a business transaction. There are numerous things that must be divided up, including large purchases like cars and homes. It is critical that you start to prepare as soon as you think a divorce could be coming your way.
A lot of men today end up losing their valuables and being cut off to their children because they do not prepare adequately for the situation that is coming. The better prepared you are, the more you will mitigate any financial or personal losses in the dissolution of the marriage. Although it is sad to consider such things, you have to devise ways to protect yourself in these areas as much as you can.
What a Lawyer Can Do
If you are a married, divorced, or unmarried father then you need to fight for your father’s rights through getting the right legal advice. Our lawyers are experienced and skilled at handling cases of paternity and custody and will make sure you get the best possible terms depending on your circumstances.
There are a number of reasons that you might need a New York father’s rights lawyer. You may need to assert your and your child’s right to spend time together. You may need to change an existing custody order. In some cases, you might need a father’s rights lawyer to help you enforce a custody order when the other parent tries to deny you lawful parenting time.
Too often, fighting for a father’s rights is an uphill battle. The truth is that a child has a need for both parents in their life. They also have the right to have a court determine what’s best for the child.
When the court determines child custody, they decide the case according to the best interests of the child. That is, one parent doesn’t get to dictate to the other what the parenting time schedule is going to be. The court determines the schedule for the child, and the parents have to follow it.
How we help our clients is by preparing evidence and arguments for the most custody and parenting time possible. In some cases, the court should award primary custody to the father. When that’s the case, we argue for primary custody on your behalf. We get to know our client’s goals, and we do everything we can to help them succeed.
Changes to custody and parenting time
You may find yourself in a situation where you need to go to court to ask for a change in custody or parenting time. We can help you determine if this request is likely to be successful in your case. Courts begin with the presumption that it’s best for a child to have stability. If you’re going to make changes, you need to have overwhelming proof that the changes are good for the child.
Although this is hard to do, your New York father’s rights attorneys can help you prepare your case. We can help you obtain school records to show that your child’s grades or attendance are suffering. You may need copies of records from a court to show that your child’s other parent has a substance abuse problem or criminal convictions that interfere with their ability to parent. Whatever the case, our team of New York father’s rights lawyers spends our time in the trenches of New York courtrooms. We can apply our training and experience to your case.
Too often, a co-parent tries to deny the other parent access to the child. Usually this comes with a litany of excuses such as the child’s illness, extracurricular activities or the weather. When that’s the case, our New York father’s rights lawyers can help you bring a court motion to enforce your parenting time. We work with our clients to document the problems, so that you have clear and convincing evidence to show the court.
In some cases, we help deserving clients bring an appeal. If a court makes a biased decision or makes an error of law, we can help you challenge the decision. Usually, these matters are time sensitive, so if you’re considering an appeal, please contact us as soon as possible.
Let’s work together
We know that your child’s relationship with you is one of the most important and critical relationships you’ll ever have. Whether you need to establish a custody order, change an order or enforce an order, we’re ready to help. Please contact us today if we can help you.
It can be very difficult to understand your legal rights as a father. Mothers used to automatically get custody of children because of the tender years doctrine. This is not the case anymore, but fathers still have to battle to get the outcome they desire and deserve.
You may feel hesitant to hire an NYC fathers rights lawyer due to the cost. But it’s far too risky not to hire an attorney for divorce and custody proceedings. Investing in legal help now can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Before you go to court, consider the importance of finding a good lawyer.
Statistics About Fathers Rights And Child Custody
Start by taking a look at facts related to fathers rights. Statistics show that only 17.5 percent of custodial parents are fathers. This shockingly low rate is a prime example of how the legal system can work. Even in modern times, it’s common for family courts to side with mothers.
One study even shows that children statistically have better experiences when fathers have custody. The same study reports that there are no proven benefits to mothers having custody of same-sex children. This data goes against the negative stereotypes about fathers being custodial parents.
Fathers Rights Threatened Even Without Pursuing Custody
If you don’t intend to pursue custody, that’s perfectly acceptable. You want to make the best choices for your children. But you still need a lawyer even if you aren’t the custodial parents. Again, this is because of legal bias against fathers.
Many fathers want plenty of family time with their children. Divorced parents can struggle to agree on this topic. If you don’t have custody of your children, your input about family time may not be considered. Your input about medical decisions and your child’s overall well-being may be dismissed.
Scenarios where fathers don’t have a voice are truly unacceptable. And without a lawyer, you can’t pursue the best possible outcomes. Legal terms and court proceedings can be complicated and difficult to understand. This makes it absolutely crucial to hire a fathers rights lawyer even if you don’t intend to pursue custody.
What A NYC Fathers Rights Lawyer Can Do
You may be wondering exactly what a fathers right lawyer does. Overall, their duty is to protect your rights regardless of your situation. Every father deserves to have their voice heard. And there’s so much more to family court than determining custody. Your NYC fathers rights lawyer can help:
- set a balanced visitation schedule
- ensure that child support rulings are fair
- make legal modifications to any agreements in place
- defend you if domestic violence scenarios or accusations arise
- pursue or fight restraining orders
These are just a few examples of the invaluable services your attorney can provide. You should never make informal decisions out of court regarding your children. Without going through legal proceedings, informal agreements are often considered invalid. Your fathers rights lawyer will aggressively work to ensure that every decision made holds merit.
Tips For Choosing A NYC Fathers Rights Lawyer
Finding the best possible lawyer is crucial for you as a father. You want legal assistance from a professional, determined, and experienced attorney. Don’t hesitate to consult with a few fathers rights lawyers. It is important to get legal representation quickly. But you also want to choose someone that you can trust.
Consider writing down a list of questions to ask lawyers during consultations. A quality attorney will gladly provide you with the information you want. Getting answers can help you confidently make a prompt decision.
It’s also important to be factual and honest during consultations. This is certainly an emotional time for you as a father. But legal proceedings will be based on the facts, so your lawyer needs to know them. It may be helpful to write down an outline of your situation before a consultation.
The Legal Help You Need Is Awaiting You
You’re undoubtedly feeling uncertain and overwhelmed, and you want to do what is right for your children. It is your lawyer’s duty to fight for your best interest. No matter what has happened, you have many legal rights as a father. Help is right around the corner – start the process with an NYC fathers rights lawyer now.