If you need assistance establishing your rights as a father, it is essential to retain qualified legal aid. A Washington DC father’s rights lawyer can help you more fully understand the laws governing these cases and advise you of your legal options. A seasoned family attorney can answer your questions and work hard to help you reach a favorable outcome to your legal matter.

The Rights of Unwed Fathers

When a child is born to a father and mother who are not married, and the father wishes to exercise their rights as a parent, they would first be required to file a paternity action. The petitioning parent should hire a skilled Washington DC attorney who could inform them of their rights as a father and the responsibilities they may be granted upon the confirmation of paternity.

The court would order that a DNA test be performed to confirm whether or not the petitioner is the biological father of the child. Once paternity is established, other important decisions, such as custodial rights and child support arrangements, would be determined.

How Custody Determinations Are Made

One of the most common reasons a father decides to file a paternity action is to seek custodial rights of their child or to respond to a request for child support. The court would not automatically grant a father custody of the child once their paternity was confirmed. Instead the court would consider a range of factors before making a final determination as to the custodial arrangement.

Ultimately, each factor the court considers would be measured up against the best interests of the child or children. For instance, the court could consider the personal preferences of both parents as well as whether or not there has been evidence of abuse inflicted by either party in the past. The inclination of the parents to share custodial rights, and whether each party’s economic circumstances would lend itself to a shared custody situation would also be considered.

There are two types of custody in Washington DC and these are known as physical custody and legal custody. A parent who is granted physical custody of their child is the parent with whom the child lives. In contrast, a parent with legal custody can make substantive decisions about their child’s health, schooling, and other fundamental matters. Parents may share both types of custody, or one parent could have sole physical and legal custody. The parents may also agree, for example, to share physical custody while one parent retains exclusive legal custodial privileges.

Termination of a Father’s Responsibilities and Privileges

A Washington DC father’s rights attorney would also be needed if a father is seeking to have their parental rights terminated. An attorney could also help if the courts have initiated proceedings to terminate the father’s rights. This process can be exceedingly complex, so having an aggressive legal advocate handling the father’s case could be instrumental in pursuing the desired outcome.

Contacting a Washington DC Father’s Rights Attorney

If you are currently dealing with a family law issue concerning your parental rights, your first phone call should be to an experienced attorney. A Washington DC father’s rights lawyer can counsel you regarding your legal choices and explain the laws applicable to your specific case.

Contact the office today to discuss your questions and concerns with a Washington DC family attorney.