It’s a common perception that the mothers are routinely given custody of children, especially following a divorce. In reality, California state law dictates that both of a child’s parents have the right to seek custody and visitation rights.
If you’re wondering what rights a father has in California, read on to learn about how this question can depend on issues of paternity. For help managing your family legal issues, reach out to a Rancho Cucamonga family lawyer today.
When a married couple has a child, the child’s parentage is generally presumed. For unmarried couples, however, establishing parentage plays a large role in the conferral of a parent’s rights and responsibilities. Parentage can be established by signing a legal declaration of paternity or by getting a court order.
Once parentage is established, the two parents have the same rights and responsibilities over the child as married, divorced, or separated couples. The rights of a child from their legal parents include the following expectations:
But just because your legal children have the right to all of the above and more from you, doesn’t mean that you, as a father, will automatically have custody over the child, or even visitation rights. Although you do have the right to petition a court to grant you these privileges, you may not be granted access to your children in all circumstances.
The rights of a father include the right to petition a court for legal and/or physical custody of their children. Legal custody allows a parent to make important decisions about the nature of their children’s health, education, and other areas.
Physical custody refers to which parent your children actually live with. As a father, you may be assigned either joint or sole custody of your children.
Some of the rights of a father with legal custody of their children include deciding questions of:
Of course, unless you are granted sole legal and physical custody of your children, you will have to try to reach some sort of agreement with the children’s other parent when you disagree on matters of legal custody.
Contrary to popular belief, the law is not biased against fathers in custody disputes—the father’s right to petition for custody of their biological child is a fundamental right.
If you’re worried about your rights as a father in California, consulting a family law specialist is the best way to ensure your interests are protected.
Do you have the right to make important decisions in your children’s lives? Are you unsure about your rights as a father? A lawyer from The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock will help.
Call 909-466-7661 or fill out the form below to contact a family law specialist from our firm.