Father’s Rights and Child Visitation
Fathers have the same rights to their children as mothers do, but it may be difficult for fathers to exercise. Legal paternity must be established if the parents are not married at the time of the child’s birth. If the father does that, then the court asks to mandate the choices of adoption, visitation rights, and life choices.
In many cases, fathers must follow a legal process if they are not married to the child’s mother and wants to establish paternity. The father has to confirm that he is the father by undergoing as DNA test. If the parents are married, then his paternity is confirmed by his name on the birth certificate in regards to the law and the above steps are not needed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare, there is a legal option for the fathers to prevent the birth mother from giving their child up. To do this, you need to register yourself with the state’s putative father registry. This helps the court to notify the father if the child is put up for adoption. In some states, like Illinois, the registration must be done at least 30 days before the proceeding of the court adoption schedule.
If you and the child’s mother are not living together and therefore the child is not living with you, then legal and visitation rights mandated by the court may be needed. Family law attorneys are experts in this area and visitation rights and financial support will be determined by a judge.
Visitation rights are not the same as custodial rights. In order to have a say in how your child is raised, you need to have a legal order from the court for joint or individual custody. Custody indicates that you have the choice to raise the child according to your standards including health choices, life decisions, schools attended and religious upbringing. In most cases involving divorce, some parents are given joint custody while in other cases a parent may be declared unfit and the custody is given to a single parent alone.
Therefore, the rights of a father for visitation or issues related to custody cannot be decided by the parents. These are legal issues and can only be solved only in court.