In the past, fathers had to contend with certain prejudices surrounding their paternal roles. Many were viewed as less capable caregivers than mothers and relegated to part-time parenting. Fortunately, the law has evolved, and fathers are now recognized as essential participants in their children’s lives.
If you are struggling to establish your rights in a legal matter concerning your child, consider consulting a dedicated Hartford father’s rights lawyer. A caring family attorney versed in state laws can assist you in asserting your legal right to a meaningful relationship with your child.
To assert a father’s fundamental right to paternity, he must first establish himself as the child’s legal parent. In Connecticut, a man is presumed to be the legal father if he is married to the mother when the child is born. If he and the mother are not married, he must take specific legal actions to establish his paternity.
If the father and the mother agree on paternity, they can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, confirming the father as the child’s legal parent. Either parent may revoke this acknowledgment within 60 days of signing, but the acknowledgment is final after that time has passed. After the form is filed in court, the father can assert his rights to custody, visitation, and child support.
However, if the mother or the alleged father disagrees that he is the child’s father, either party may file a petition to establish paternity. A judge will not make a final determination as to paternity until after the child’s birth, but the mother or father are permitted to file a paternity action before that time. In a paternity proceeding, a father also has the right to request genetic testing to conclusively confirm or refute paternity. A knowledgeable Hartford attorney understands state laws and can assist a father in asserting his rights in a paternity case.
Prior state law permitted judges to award custody to mothers more often than fathers based on a ‘maternal preference.’ However, under Connecticut General Statutes §45a-606, fathers and mothers now have equal rights and responsibilities to their children. Accordingly, judges must now decide custody based on what is in a child’s best interest, and a parent’s gender cannot be a determining factor.
If a father fears for the safety of his child in the mother’s care, he may petition for sole custody and request that the mother’s contact be supervised to protect the child. Any father facing legal disputes in Hartford should consider consulting an experienced lawyer to help ensure that his rights are protected and that he receives fair treatment in court.
If a judge awards a father sole or primary custody of his child, the judge may order the mother to pay child support. The Connecticut child support guidelines apply equally to fathers and mothers, and both are responsible for financially supporting their children. However, it is crucial to retain a seasoned local attorney for assistance when fighting for child support. Correctly calculating child support under the guidelines can be challenging, and it is important to consider all sources of income from both parents, not just the father.
Fathers can play an invaluable role in their children’s lives, and it is essential for them to assert their legal rights to meaningful relationships with their children. However, although the law now requires judges to treat mothers and fathers equally, fathers may still face an unspoken bias in paternity, custody, and child support matters.
If you want to legally secure your relationship with your children, consulting an experienced Hartford father’s rights lawyer is a crucial first step. Contact one of our team’s dedicated legal advocates to learn more about father’s rights today to get started. Compassionate attorneys understand the importance of the father-child relationship and will work diligently with you to preserve it.