If you are going through a divorce, preserving your rights as a father is of great importance. It is essential to work with an experienced Frederick fathers’ rights lawyer who can fight diligently to preserve your role in your child’s life.
Whether you are facing divorce or need help establishing paternity after separating from your child’s mother, a family law attorney can provide legal support throughout your case and work hard to secure positive results on your behalf.
Parental Rights in Frederick
Under Maryland law, both of a child’s married, biological parents automatically have custody. In the event of a divorce or separation, one or both parties may decide to file for custodial rights. When the parents are unmarried, however, the father may have to establish his paternity if there is a dispute regarding paternity before he can pursue custodial privileges.
If a father files a petition for custody in a local family court, the judge would consider all the required factors under Maryland law and grant him custodial rights that would be in the best interests of the child or children. A father may petition for sole or joint custodial rights. There are two main types of custody: legal and physical.
A father with legal custody of his child has the authority to make major decisions about the child’s upbringing, religious affiliation, education, and ongoing medical needs. If a father is granted physical custody of his child, the judge would establish a physical access schedule which is in the best interest of the minor child or children.
Establishing Paternal Rights in Frederick
If a father wishes to assert his parental rights, he may decide first to establish paternity with a lawyer’s help. Paternity can be shown in a few different ways. First, a father can file a paternity lawsuit. The court would order him, the mother, and the child to complete a DNA test before making a final determination about his paternity.
One other option is for the father to submit an Affidavit of Parentage to the State of Maryland. A Frederick attorney from our team can help a father establish his rights in a paternity suit. Once a fathers’ paternity is established, he will owe specific legal responsibilities to their child, like the obligation to provide financial support.
Child Custody and Support Concerns
After a father establishes that he is the biological father of his child, he may officially seek legal and/or physical custodial rights. In some cases, it may be possible for him to reach an arrangement with the child’s mother concerning a custody agreement and parenting schedule. However, if it is not possible to reach an amicable agreement, a Frederick fathers’ rights attorney can help the father file a child custody action with the local family court.
When a father is granted joint or sole custody of their child, he may also be ordered to fulfill a particular child support obligation. Depending on the physical custody and access schedule of a child, the non-custodial parent may have to pay child support. The court would base the amount of child support on a specific shared guidelines formula outlined under state law, which takes into account the gross earnings of both parents among other important factors. The court may also assess child support arrears if appropriate in a particular case.
Talk with a Frederick Fathers’ Rights Attorney
Whether you need help filing a paternity action to establish your parental rights or are going through a divorce and want to pursue custody of your child, or if you want to obtain custody of your child, a Frederick fathers’ rights lawyer can help. An attorney from our firm can fight relentlessly to preserve your rights as a father while keeping the best interests of your children close to heart. Call us today to schedule a consultation with a professional legal advocate.