Every parent should have a meaningful role in their child’s life. For fathers, this can be challenging if their co-parent does not support or encourage this involvement.
If you are a father who wants to actively parent your child, a dedicated Stamford father’s rights lawyer will assist you. Our family attorneys understand how important your child is to you and can work to protect your parental rights.
Under state law, when a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father. However, if parents are not married when their child is born, and the father is not otherwise listed on the child’s birth certificate, the father must establish his paternity before being entitled to court-ordered custody or visitation.
When the parents agree on who the father is, establishing paternity is a straightforward process. They can both sign a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, or simply list the father on the child’s birth certificate, and the father is automatically afforded parental rights, including the legal right to seek visitation with his child.
However, if the parents disagree on paternity, either of them can file a petition to establish paternity, and a judge can determine legal parentage. As part of the paternity action, the court may order genetic testing for the parents and the child. A seasoned attorney familiar with paternity actions in Stamford can advise a parent of their legal rights and obligations throughout the process.
Historically, mothers had a distinct advantage over fathers in custody cases. Fortunately, this is no longer the law, and family judges must judge both parents by the same standard when determining what the child’s best interests are as regards the allocation of parenting time.
Under the current gender-neutral law, fathers must prove that their proposed custody and child access schedule is in their child’s best interests. When determining best interests, a family court judge may consider various factors. Under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56, some of these include:
A knowledgeable lawyer in Stamford understands how to argue these factors and effectively present the paternity case to a judge. In cases where the mother is awarded primary physical custody, legal counsel can assist the father in obtaining a visitation schedule that enables him to have a close relationship with his child.
A common assumption is that fathers are always required to pay child support to mothers. However, this is not always the case. Where the best interests of the child support the father having primary physical custody, as the custodial parent, a father has the right to receive child support from the mother. Additionally, in cases where the parents share physical custody equally, if the mother has a significantly higher income than the father, a judge may order the mother to pay child support in spite of the shared custody arrangement.
Child support is calculated in precisely the same way for both fathers and mothers. To determine the appropriate amount of support in a specific case, a judge will assess each parent’s income, the specific custodial arrangement, health insurance, daycare costs, and the child’s specific needs.
Whether a father will be paying or receiving child support, it is essential he speaks with a capable local attorney to understand his rights and obligations.
As a father, you want nothing more than to make sure your child is safe and happy, and maintaining a strong relationship with them is one essential way to ensure their well-being. However, in cases where you are no longer in a relationship with your child’s other parent, you may be concerned that you will become the marginalized parent.
To establish and maintain your role in your child’s life, work with an understanding Stamford father’s rights lawyer. Our firm’s caring team can answer your questions about paternity, access, and the support of your child to help ensure your rights are protected. Reach out to the office today.