For a long time, the rights of mothers took precedence in divorce and custody situations. However, in an effort to change the balance and protect the standard of living that many single or divorced women and their children encounter, many courts have gone too far in the opposite direction and inadvertently removed fathers from the equation, except where money is concerned.
This situation is especially true for unmarried couples. Previously, single fathers have had little say or recourse where their children are concerned. With the sharp increase in unmarried couples having children, it’s time for courts to recognize that fathers have a lot more to offer their children than money.
If you’re a young father or you have no experience in the legal system, it’s important for you to know your rights. Excluding any abuse of the child or other parent, there are basic elements in the doctrine of the father’s rights movement, including:
You have the right to claim paternity, or to ask for proof of paternity
You have the right to be an active part of your child’s life and to have a relationship with your child, even if you have been absent for a period of time
You have the right to prevent the adoption of your child by a third party; even in the case where the mother intends to give up an unborn child for adoption or in the case of her marriage to someone else
You have the right to provide financial support to your child; if the mother refuses your money, put it into a separate account that’s designated for the child
You have the right to regular interaction with your child
You have the right to share custody
You have the right to a say in decisions that affect your child, including schooling or medical decisions
If you think that your rights or the rights of your child are being violated, contact an attorney for a consultation. Cordell & Cordell is an example of a law firm that protects the interests of an under-served segment of the public. Such firms place an importance on issues like men’s rights, children’s rights, and discrimination in order to help those who tend to fall through the cracks in the judicial system. If you have a specific issues that only a boutique lawyer can handle, you can get references for a local law firm in your area by performing an internet search or contacting a local rights organization.