Fathers' Rights in Divorce and Family Law Proceedings
Fathers often feel as though a mother's rights are superior or that a father is not entitled to the same rights and recognition as a mother. As a father, you have rights. If you are involved in a divorce, custody modification proceeding, contested adoption or other family law matter, it is important that you understand your rights. In years past, it was often presumed that mothers should play the central role in the lives of children, with fathers typically getting a very small amount of visitation time.
Today, the laws and the attitudes of many family law judges have changed so that the concept of co-parenting is gaining power. Courts are more open to parenting plans that allow fathers to maintain a more active role in the lives of their children.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
Fathers who were not married to their child's mother at the time of the child's birth are not generally presumed to be the child's legal or biological father. In such cases, the father does not have any rights or responsibilities as the child's father unless and until paternity is voluntarily recognized or established by court order. Contact us to learn how we can help establish your child's paternity and demand recognition of your parental rights.
Determining Child Custody and Visitation
In a divorce, parents may reach an agreement about custody and visitation, and courts will rarely disturb such agreements. Because custody and visitation disputes can cause stress in the life of a child, it is always best for parents to attempt an amicable resolution of custody and visitation issues when at all possible.
If parents are unable to reach an agreement about child custody and visitation, the court will make the determination for them. When determining child custody, courts look to the best interests of the child and look at a number of factors in making a comparative fitness analysis of the parents. The determination of who is the primary care giver is essential in child custody disputes. Work schedules and the proximity of the parents' homes are other important considerations. As a general rule, the judge presiding in your case may consider a wide variety of issues that affect the welfare of a child.
Our founding attorney, David L. Scott, has been protecting the custody and visitation rights of parents since 1996. Mr. Scott has helped many fathers through the difficult process of divorce; in child custody/visitation and child support disputes; in post-divorce modification proceedings; and in contested adoptions and motions to terminate parental rights.
To speak the lawyer at our firm about the laws governing fathers' rights, contact our law office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. To schedule a free consultation with attorney David L. Scott call 615-713-1282 or contact us by e-mail.