Child Custody and Visitation Rights for Unmarried FathersBy DADvocacy™ | January 24, 2019
Regardless if a child’s parents were married when he or she was born, biological fathers have a right to seek child custody or visitation rights. Much like any other child custody decision, the best interests of the child will be the paramount decisive factor in cases involving unmarried fathers. Generally, unless there is any evidence that suggests otherwise, it is usually presumed that a child will benefit from the involvement of both parents.
Below is a brief overview of child custody and visitation rights for unmarried fathers, including how to establish paternity:
- Establishing paternity: When a father is not married to the child’s mother when he or she was born must legally establish paternity to obtain paternal rights. This means that both parents must sign and file an acknowledgement of paternity with their state agency or court, whether it be at the time of the child’s birth or sometime afterward. In cases where paternity is being disputed, a DNA test will be ordered and conclude with the court stating whether the man in question in the biological father. After the issue of paternity is resolved, the father has a right to pursue child visitation or custody rights.
- Child visitation and custody agreements: For unmarried fathers, custody and visitation rights tend to depend on the relationship they have with their child, any history of abuse, drug or alcohol usage, and other factors that play a part in determining the fitness of a parent.
- Court orders: In the event that both parties cannot successfully come to terms with a parenting agreement that satisfies everyone’s needs, either parent can petition the court for child visitation or custody help. In cases where custody and visitation are being disputed, a judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. That said, while courts recognize visitation rights for unmarried fathers, it is not common for them to win sole custody of a child who is already being raised by the mother. For this to happen, the unmarried father would have to show that the mother is unfit to raise their child or that he has been the child’s primary caregiver.
If you are an unmarried father and wish to seek visitation or child custody rights, it is imperative that you hire skilled legal help to ensure you have the best possible chance of obtaining the results you deserve.
Miami Family Law Attorneys Fighting on Behalf of Fathers
If you are unmarried father who is seeking visitation or custody rights of your child, you should not go through this process on your own without the assistance of a skilled legal advocate. At DADvocacy™ Law Firm in Miami, our knowledgeable team of family law attorneys believe fathers should be viewed as equal to mothers in legal proceedings, which is why we are dedicated to fighting on their behalf and using our experience and commitment to our clients’ advantage. We handle a vast range of family law matters that also affect paternal rights, including paternity cases, prenuptial agreements, child custody, visitation, divorce, and child support.
Get started on your family law case today and reach out to our law firm at (305) 371-7640 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our compassionate attorneys to learn more about how we can assist you. We offer flat fees and fixed rates for our exceptional services.