While Maryland family courts no longer recognize a maternal preference and are supposed to treat mothers and fathers equally in legal matters involving their children, implicit bias against fathers unfortunately may persist. Many dads have to fight in court during divorce and custody battles to have their rights recognized and respected.
If you are a father seeking child custody, visitation rights, and/or child support payments, retaining a skilled attorney should be a high priority. A Montgomery County fathers’ rights lawyer can advocate on your behalf to ensure that you maintain a loving and engaged relationship with your children.
Significance of Legal Parenthood in Montgomery County Family Cases
If a newborn child’s parents are married, state law presumes that the mother’s husband is the child’s biological father absent evidence of otherwise. If a child is born out of wedlock or there is any dispute over parentage, there are two ways a dad in the area can seek to prove or even disprove his paternity.
Affidavit of Parentage
Both the mother and petitioning father can voluntarily sign an Affidavit of Parentage at the hospital when their child is born, or at a later date. Once this document is signed before a consenting witness, it becomes a legally binding declaration of paternity. This remains in effect unless a Rescission Form is signed and notarized within 60 days of when the original affidavit was signed.
A local dads’ rights attorney can help a father seeking to prove his parentage file a paternity action in a MoCo court. If a party requests this action, a judge can order genetic testing to determine a child’s parentage. Based on the outcome of that testing, the court can establish parenthood and legally name the biological father of the child in question.
Pursuing Child Custody and Support Rights
Once a dad has legitimized his legal parenthood, he will be better equipped to pursue a custody arrangement that preserves his right to see his kids and make important decisions on their behalf. If both parents can agree on a parenting plan which includes custody and visitation rights, they can submit it to the court for approval.
If the parents cannot reach a consensus, the court will make a final determination based on what it believes to be in the child’s best interests. Representation from a forward-thinking attorney in our area can be crucial to ensuring a dad’s rights are protected in an otherwise biased legal system. A skilled legal professional at our firm can assemble a compelling case and assist in any custody and paternity actions to facilitate a fair case outcome.
Speak with a Montgomery County Fathers’ Right Attorney Today
While child-rearing responsibilities have been historically considered a mother’s role in the family unit, fathers deserve equal legal rights to child custody and support. Gender does not and should not determine a dad’s capability in raising his child. Nevertheless, fathers seeking to protect their parental rights may require the help of a tenacious attorney to ensure the court views their cases fairly.
Whether you need to establish legal parenthood, negotiate for custody or visitation rights, or ensure you receive appropriate financial support from your child’s mother, a Montgomery County fathers’ right lawyer can help. Our experienced attorneys understand your rights and will fight tirelessly within the system to protect them. Call today to learn more about the options available to you.