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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

As a dad, what should you know about fathers' rights?

California fathers want to have an active role in the lives of their children, yet sometimes, this is difficult for unmarried or divorcing fathers. If you are struggling to establish your rightful parenting time or want to protect your rights as a father, you would be wise to obtain the appropriate guidance as you seek to do so.

As a biological parent, you have the right to seek custody and visitation time with your kids. It might not be an easy process, but you may fight for time and access to your kids. Children do better when they are able to have a strong relationship with both parents, and it can be worthwhile to pursue the legal options available in order to protect the interests of your kids.

Do you need to establish paternity?

If you were not married to the mother of your child at the time of his or her birth, it may be necessary to legally establish paternity. Once you have done this, you will be able to pursue custody and visitation. Sometimes, this can be as easy as both biological parents signing an acknowledgement of paternity, but in other cases, it may be necessary to go through DNA testing.

Other aspects of child custody

Once you have gone through the process of establishing paternity, you will then walk through pursuing a custody or visitation arrangement that meets the best interests of you and your kids. The following are a few things you may need to know about child custody:

  • It is possible for you and the mother of your children to negotiate a parenting plan that works for every member of your family.
  • If the other parent is not willing to work on an arrangement independently, it may be necessary to petition the court for your rightful parenting plan.
  • Your marital status has no bearing on your right to have an active role in the lives of your kids.

Navigating these matters is complex, but you do not have to walk through it alone. When it comes to establishing a strong relationship with your children, you have no time to lose in getting the guidance you need to effectively deal with these challenges and ultimately reach your objectives.

In the past, custody orders have often favored the mother. However, that is not the case anymore, and fathers do not have to shy away from fighting for their rightful role in the lives of their children.

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