Divorcing fathers are often concerned about maintaining meaningful relationships with their children. Unmarried fathers often have similar worries. Decades ago, men had difficulty asserting their rights to be involved fathers, but that is not the case now.

You will need to present a strong case demonstrating that spending significant time with you is in your children’s best interests. A Fairfield father’s rights lawyer can advocate for your intentions regarding your continued relationship with your children and work diligently to achieve them. Consult with one of our family attorneys to learn more.

Fathers Have Equal Rights to Child Custody

Physical custody indicates where the children live. Joint or shared custody means the children spend substantial time with each parent, sometimes splitting time equally between them. When one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent has a schedule that provides for specific parenting time and overnights.

Legal custody is the right to make important life decisions for the children, such as consenting to healthcare, deciding where they will attend school, whether they will be raised in a particular religion, and similar issues. Parents can share legal custody, one parent can have sole legal custody, or the couple can designate specific issues as each parent’s responsibility.

Fathers have just as much right to sole, shared, or joint custody as mothers do. Connecticut General Statutes § 36b-56(b) says that judges making custody determinations must consider the rights and responsibilities of both parents and decide according to the best interests of the children. The law also favors the active involvement of both parents in the child’s upbringing, in accordance with the parent’s skills, schedule, and interest. An attorney in Fairfield can help a father protect his rights to spend time with his children.

Financial Issues Impacting Fathers

Child support is often a concern for fathers. Although they want their children to have the most comfortable life they can provide, fathers often worry about the financial strain, especially if they may also have to pay alimony.

Connecticut calculates child support based on a formula that considers each parent’s income and the percentage of their combined income they would spend on their children. When parents share custody, the higher-earning parent usually must pay the lower-earning parent, regardless of whether the higher-earning parent is the mother or the father.

The law allows judges to deviate from the guideline amount if doing so would be fair and not harm the children. A Fairfield attorney can argue for a deviation from the formula amount in a specific case to preserve the father’s rights.

The Rights of Unmarried Fathers

Children born to unmarried couples have only one legal parent, the mother. The father can establish his legal rights as a parent by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity with the mother. Many couples sign this form at the hospital when the child is born to ensure the father’s name appears on the birth certificate, but signing the acknowledgment later also establishes the father as the child’s legal parent.

Legal parents have the right to seek custody and parenting time with their children. Marital status is not a factor in the custody decision process; the only consideration is the children’s best interests. When a father has been an active parent, they are likely to gain shared custody or substantial parenting if they request it, absent evidence of unfitness or danger to the children.

If a father has not signed an acknowledgment of paternity, they must bring a court action to establish their paternity with a genetic test. When a man gains recognition as a child’s parent through genetic testing, he has the right to pursue a relationship with his children and an obligation to contribute financially to their support. A court will decide whether the father should have shared custody rights or parenting time according to the children’s best interests, which is why working with a Fairfield lawyer who can advocate for the father is beneficial.

Protect Your Role as an Active Father with a Fairfield Attorney

Do not allow the end of your relationship with your children’s mother to limit your involvement as a father. The law gives fathers equal rights to custody and parenting time, and if you want to remain an active father, you can request equal time with them. Allow a Fairfield father’s rights lawyer to help you make your case. Call today to get started.

Connecticut Family Lawyer | CT Family Law | Dolan Family Attorneys N/a
1305 Post Road, Suite 205 Fairfield CT 06824 (203) 990-1387