Unmarried fathers love and care for their kids in the same ways that married fathers do, but they can face challenges when it comes to securing parenting time. Custody can be a tricky issue in cases where the biological father and mother are not married, and dads may have to fight for their parental rights. It may be necessary to take legal steps to secure custody rights and visitation rights.
It is in the best interests of the child to allow him or her to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. Kids thrive when they have two involved and loving parents, even if those parents are not married or no longer in a relationship with each other. When considering fathers’ rights and related legal matters, courts will look at what is ultimately best for the kids.
One of the initial steps for unmarried Colorado fathers looking to protect their custody and visitation rights is to establish paternity. There are several ways to legally establish paternity, and the easiest of these is for both parents to simply sign a paternity acknowledgement with the local court.
In cases where parents do not get along, there is a dispute over the identity of the father or the mother is uncooperative, it may be necessary to take other steps. This includes a DNA test, resulting in a court order identifying the father. Once you’ve established paternity, you can then move forward with the next steps in the process of securing access to your children.
A fair custody and visitation order
Once you have established paternity, you can then fight for a fair custody and visitation order. You have the right to have a prominent role in the lives of your children, and this means having regular contact with them and a say in the important decisions of their lives. A biological father has the right to petition the court for these things.
If you wish to seek paternity, fight for custody rights or simply establish a schedule that allows you to see your kids on a regular basis, you do not have to do these things alone. It will be beneficial to work with an experienced family law attorney from the very beginning of the process. It can be complex to navigate the process of establishing paternity and addressing custody concerns, but with the right help, you can avoid unnecessary setbacks and complications in your efforts.