Questions often come up related to unmarried fathers rights of access to children. Unwed fathers seeking visitation rights and/or child custody rights face challenges in the family court that fathers who are married simply do not. To be frank, unmarried fathers have an up hill battle when it comes to gaining acccess to their children because unmarried fathers do not automatically have the right to spend time with his child.
Can Unmarried Fathers Rights of Access to Children be Denied?
When parents separate or file for divorce it's not uncommon for fathers to be denied access to their children by the mother. As mentioned above, unmarried fathers are especially at risk because unmarried fathers do not automatically have rights of access to their children as married fathers do. And to make matters more challenging, child support cases have gained far more attention with politicians and the family courts than issues related to fathers obtaining access to their children. However, it should be mentioned that a mother denying an unmarried father access to his child when he has been involved in the child's life may not be in the best interest of the child and could require explanation and be used against her if custody is disputed.
How Can an Unmarried Fathers Rights of Access to Children be Established?
Unmarried fathers rights of access to children are generally established after paternity is established. When children are born out of wedlock paternity may be established if the father voluntarily signs a declaration stating they are the biological father or if they go through the court by filing a paternity action. For example, in California, it is only after paternity is established that a father can gain rights of acess and rights of responsibilities of their children.
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