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Father’s rights: Protecting your interests in custody proceedings

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Family Law

As a father, you may be afraid that custody decisions will be biased against you, which is a common misunderstanding among most people. When a judge issues custody orders, the children’s best interests come first. The parent’s gender has no contribution to these decisions.

Still, it is necessary to take a proactive role and protect your place in your children’s lives during a custody case.

Have you established paternity?

If you are an unmarried couple and you are not legally recognized as the biological father of the children, it is necessary to establish paternity. Usually, this happens automatically, if you are married or at the hospital by signing a paternity acknowledgment form if you are not legally married.

If it is unclear to the court who the child’s biological father is, custody proceedings may halt, pending clarification.

Can you prove parental involvement?

The child-parent relationship is among the many considerations when deciding custody. Therefore, proving that your presence in the child’s life is in their best interests may help your case. 

Involvement in their school and extracurricular activities, phone logs, and shared schedules are some ways you can show that you have been active as a parent.

Are you up to the task?

Of course, you are ready to be a great dad, but the court needs you to show it. Credible witness statements to back that up can go a long way in showing your commitment as a parent should your parental skills come into question.

Custody decisions can go either way. If you are granted shared custody or visitation rights, it is necessary to make the most of that. Remember, it is possible to petition the court to review the custody arrangement should there be a significant change of circumstances on either parent’s side.