If You’re a Dad, Hire a Family Lawyer to Protect Your Rights as a Father

In the event that a couple is divorcing, hiring the right family lawyer is essential for protecting your rights, and if you are being denied access, we will request an emergency hearing to establish a temporary parenting schedule. This is important for proving that you are not choosing to be away from your children.  Otherwise, it may appear that this is the schedule you agreed to and were comfortable establishing.  Afterwards, your final custody arrangement will be established as part of the divorce trial.If you are not married to the mother, this process is far more complicated. Before doing anything else, paternity needs to be established.  Even if you are on the birth certificate, additional steps must be taken.  If the mother agrees, you can both sign an acknowledgment of paternity that is typically filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  If she does not agree to do so, we will petition the court to have a DNA test completed. Even if she doesn’t want to agree, she must comply with a court order and this will prove once and for all if you are the father.  This is a benefit to being married; the court presumes that the children are yours.Once paternity is established a married and unmarried man are on equal footing and what happens next is dependent on the relationship you have with the mother and whether or not she wants you to see the children.  If you get along, we may be able to negotiate the terms of a parenting plan outside of court.  This plan is extremely detailed and lists out who they will be with every day, during school, on breaks, during the summer months, for birthdays, holidays, etc.  The more detailed the plan, the better.  With this in mind, we incorporate exact dropoff and pick up times and any other provisions that may prevent disputes later on. Working together on a parenting plan can be the best way to get what you want, if she is agreeable. As a family lawyer, we can help by facilitating the process.When the mother doesn’t want you to see the children or is completely disagreeable to your proposed parenting plan, you will probably end up in court.  This way you can present your case to the judge and let them decide where the children will live and what the terms of visitation will be.  During the hearing, we will present the parenting plan and information as to why we think this is in the best interest of the child.  This is our opportunity to bring in witnesses that can attest to your character.  As a family lawyer, we will also demonstrate that your home life and employment is stable and that you have a support system in place to help you.These cases are winnable, but they can also be complicated so be sure to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

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