Orlando Father’s Rights Attorney
Whether a couple was married or not and they have a child together, both parents have the right to child custody and visitation. Because mothers are often the ones who get custody of the child, many fathers do not have a relationship with their child. This is often because they do not understand their legal rights.
Fathers have just as much legal right to child custody and visitation as mothers. The courts will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. However, there is a process that unmarried fathers must go through first, including establishing paternity.
Are you a father looking to establish a relationship with your child? Orlando father’s rights attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law can help you preserve your legal rights.
The first step in determining the rights of an unmarried father is to establish paternity. If the man was not married to the mother when the child was born, then he will need to establish paternity. This could be done easily by both parents signing and filing an acknowledgment of paternity. This document is then filed with the court at birth or shortly afterward.
If paternity is disputed, however, DNA testing will be required. This will determine whether or not the man is in fact the child’s biological father. If paternity is established, the father may pursue child custody, visitation, and other rights.
Once paternity has been established, parents are required to create and submit a parenting plan. A good parenting plan will show parental responsibility and address things such as the child’s healthcare, education, religion, and activities. The plan should also address things such as where the child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.
Ideally, the parents should agree to custody and visitation arrangements on their own. However, if there is disagreement, either parent can ask the court to grant their request through a contested hearing.
Courts generally focus on the best interests of the child. They presume that children benefit from having both parents involved in their lives, so they will more than likely work to ensure that both the mother and father have custody of the child. However, a parent can try to fight for sole custody if they can prove that allowing the other parent to have custody would be harmful to the child. Examples include substance abuse, domestic violence, or neglect.
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The rights of fathers are often overlooked, but no matter your gender, you should always fight to ensure your child gets the best care possible. Both mothers and fathers have important roles when it comes to child rearing.
Orlando father’s rights attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law can help you understand your rights and obligations as a father. We’ll help you with visitation, custody, and more. To schedule a consultation with our office, call 407-521-7171 or fill out the online form.