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Fathers Are Caring Parents, Too
Often, when people think about a situation involving parents getting divorced or separated, they sometimes believe that the father is the one who leaves the home and doesn’t want much to do with the children. This isn’t always the case. Fathers have rights to their children just as much as mothers do in Yonkers, New York. They are caring parents, but the fathers very often do not know about their parental rights because they fear that they won’t win any kind of visitation in court and only be viewed as a bank that sends child support each month. There have been significant revisions in the law in how fathers are involved with their children. This has led to a Father’s Rights movement across the country, according to a Huffington Post article. More people are seeing that kids can be well cared for when they live with their father just as much as they can live with there mother, which has prompted more lawyers to look at ways to help fathers succeed in raising their children.
As a father, you want what’s best for your child. Even if your relationship with the mother does not work out, you want to be an active part of your child’s life. At times, it seems as if the court favors the mother and puts the father in a position where he must prove his worthiness to have at least some custody and visitation privileges. In fact, the laws in New York City provide you with more of an opportunity to be there for your child than you may think. Here are some things you should know and discuss with your legal counsel.
New York Domestic Relations Law
One of the key laws you need to know well is the New York Domestic Relations Law. Specifically, Section 70 will be of interest to you if paternity is in question or if there is an attempt to prevent you from exercising your parental rights.
This law includes provisions for establishing paternity. While many think of this as being a way to confirm the male is the biological parent when he denies that status, it also works in another way. If you are convinced that you are the biological father, you have the right to file documents with the court and demand that a paternity test be conducted. Assuming the results indicate you are highly likely to be the father, it’s possible to move forward with petitions related to gaining some form of custody and regular visitation with the child. Depending on the circumstances, you might be in a position to seek sole custody or at least be appointed by the court as the custodial parent.
Fathers Have Rights, Too
Whether or not a father is married to the mother of his child, there are still some rights that the man has when it comes to his children. If there are roadblocks in the way, then the father is at liberty to seek the assistance of an attorney who will fight for visitation or custody of the child. According to FindLaw, fathers are within their rights to object when the other parent wants to place a child for adoption. The father can ask the assistance of an attorney to petition for the custody of the child.
Also, a father who is expecting a baby and opposes the termination of the pregnancy, like by abortion, cannot prevent it from taking place. Conversely, if a father is opposed to the mother carrying the pregnancy to term, the father still holds responsibility for supporting the child after birth. There are special interest groups that support the rights of fathers that suggest men should have the right to deny fatherhood and sign over any obligation to support the child if the child is born against his wishes.
Uniform Child Custody Act of 1977
The family courts in New York City operate with the intent to protect the rights of minor children by approving custody and support arrangements that are deemed to be in the best interests of the child. One of the foundational laws that outlines how those rights are protected is the Uniform Child Custody Act of 1977.
A careful reading of the Act lays the framework for establishing the biological and emotional connection to the child. It also provides the basis for evaluating the ability of each parent to be granted physical custody and serve as the custodial parent. In terms of protecting the rights of the non-custodial parent, there are provisions related to creating a reasonable schedule for financial support and granting visitation rights designed to ensure the child has access to and spends time with both parents.
The key to understanding how the laws are applied is knowing the court will focus on what is best for the child above all else. Any interests of either parent are considered second in priority. No matter how much one parent wants to provide the permanent home, the ability to provide a stable environment that does not pose a threat to the physical or emotional well being of the minor child is one of the first factors the court will address.
Whether your goal is to share custody with the mother, seek sole custody, or arrange for the child to live with you full-time, know that the court will extend an equal opportunity to present your case. Cooperate with your legal counsel, be prepared to provide full disclosure, and make sure all relevant facts are placed before the court. In the best-case scenario, the decision will ensure you and your child continue to spend time together and the connection between the two of you will deepen as the years pass.
Child Support and Father’s Rights
If you are a father presently in the midst of a divorce or separation agreement in Yonkers, New York, it is a wise move to retain the services of a skilled Father’s Rights attorney to safeguard your parental rights as a father.
Customarily, child support is calculated on the basis of a formula. Nevertheless, specific child support payment amounts can vary from one jurisdiction to the next. A combined parental income figure is arrived at by first deduction any social security and taxes.
These are the basic, generic child support calculations. Remember that these may vary depending upon your specific situation and the needs of the child or children:
- For one child – 17% of combined parental income
- For two children – 25% of combined parental income
- For three children – 29% of combined parental income
- For four children – 31% of combined parental income
- When there are five or more children – 35% of combined parental income
If the father is not married to the mother, then the father has to adopt the child in order to have any sort of parental rights. If the child doesn’t legally belong to a father, then seeking visitation with the child can be tough without the assistance of a lawyer. It’s important for fathers to be aware that the paternity of the child as the information can be used for everything from visitation to orders of child support. The paternity of the child can be requested at any point after the child is born and by either parent.