Experienced Guidance Through Fathers’ Rights Cases
With decades of family law experience, we have a profound understanding of the laws involved in issues affecting your family. Having helped hundreds of clients successfully resolve their matter, at Wampler & Souder, LLC, we also have a broad understand of family dynamics, the financial and emotional trajectory of divorce and parenting.
Are Mothers And Fathers Treated Equally?
Perhaps the most-asked question by fathers who want to purse an equal-time parenting plan, is whether they have a shot at getting full or partial custody. The answer to this question is a bit ambiguous because it is constantly evolving.
- The most important way to guarantee that a father retains equal time with his child or children is to demonstrate that he is a good, caring and attentive parent.
Under the law, both parents, if there are no issues of abuse, addiction or neglect, should be treated equally. How can fathers ensure they get quality time with their child?
- Recognize that either parent can lose custody by violating the law or breaking court orders.
- As a father who is not married to the child’s mother, it is imperative that you prove paternity. This is necessary for custody.
Granting the mother sole custody just because of her gender is a thing of the past. This practice began at the turn of the century and was based on the idea that a baby or very young child needed the “tender care” that only a mother could give.
While it is true that nursing babies may need to spend more time with the mother at first, it is also recognized now that a child does better when there is a continued and consistent relationship with their father, no matter what the age of the child. Your child custody arrangement will likely affect child support. It is best to confer with an attorney who practices family law so that you can understand your rights and obligations under your state’s family law guidelines and statutes.
The Importance Of Establishing Paternity For Unmarried Fathers
Paternity means the legal father of a child. If you are the father of a baby or child and are not and were not married to the mother at the time of the baby’s birth you will need to establish paternity in order to have parental rights recognized by the courts. Just because your name is on the birth certificate does not mean that you are “legally” the father if you were not married to the mother.
The Benefits Of Establishing Paternity
It may seem like an extra, unnecessary step, but establishing paternity is important and does have benefits. These include:
- Once paternity is established the father is legally able to make decisions for the child.
- Government benefits are available only after paternity is established.
- If the child is recognized legally as the father’s child, then that child can receive an inheritance from the father or the father’s relations.
- The child may want to have or need to have an accurate medical and genetic history.
- Creating an official father-child bond is psychologically beneficially to both the father and the child. It also works to strengthen the ties between the paternal side of the family (aunts, uncles and grandparents).
The process of establishing paternity involves a court order or an Affidavit of Parentage form and may involve genetic testing. Because every situation is different, it is recommended that you consult with a family law attorney who practices in your state for assistance.
Let’s Talk About Your Options
We know that you most likely have questions about your specific situation. The best way to get your questions answered is to set up a consultation with us. You can call the office at 301-732-7675 or email our team. We have three office locations to serve you: Frederick, Silver Springs and Upper Marlboro, Maryland.