For many decades, the rights of fathers who were not married or not listed on birth certificates have been considered less than a mother’s rights. Recently there has been a movement to give fathers the same rights as mothers. The fathers’ rights movement has gathered speed and parenting rights activists are examining family law to see what exactly a father’s right is to children in differing situations.
The legal rights of fathers are coming to the forefront of legal discussions as more men seek greater custody and responsibility for their children. If that is you, read on to learn more about your legal rights.
Learn About the Fathers Rights Movement
In this movement, you will find a lot of father for equal rights in parenting disputes. This is a social movement that advocates for fathers in family law, child support, and custody decisions. It is a common belief that the legal system is biased against fathers in decisions like these, and this movement seeks to end the bias.
Concerns of the Fathers’ Rights Movement
There is a wide variety to choose from when discussing the concerns of the Fathers’ Rights Movement. First, the members of this movement are asking for greater parenting time for fathers. In cases where one parent is given sole custody, that parent is the sole decider of legal issues for the child in question. The Fathers’ Rights Movement argues that shared parenting is always best for the child. Both parents, according to the movement, should have the right to make joint decisions, and parenting time should be split more equally.
As women are most often awarded sole custody of children, men feel that they are in danger of losing time with their child. Parenting time interference is another concern. Interference in parenting time occurs when the custodial parent prevents a child from visitation with the non-custodial parent. These issues are often litigated in custody agreements, during which time visitation rights are often agreed upon in a parenting plan.
Family planning decisions are another issue area where the custodial parent wins the right to make the choices. Fathers argue they lack power in deciding whether or not a conception is carried to term. The decision for an abortion lies solely with women. In some cases, a woman may choose to place a child up for adoption, even if the biological father objects. Fathers’ rights activists argue that men should be able to adopt the child if they want to.
A newer, more unconventional issue has arisen. Most women with steady paying jobs are awarded either paid or unpaid maternity leave to bond with a new baby. The Fathers’ Rights Movement believes that right should be extended to fathers as well. Either unpaid or paid paternity leave should be regarded as equally important as maternity leave because fathers desire time to bond with a new baby too. Paternity leave also relieves some level of burden from mothers who may desire to go back to work sooner, or simply just make the early months easier by adding an extra set of hands.
The Father’s Rights Movement seeks equal rights for both parents in family planning decisions, as well as custody and child support decisions. Those who are part of this movement fight for the right to make decisions that affect them as well as the mother of a child, though there remain many gray areas in this movement.
Single Fathers’ Rights
Do you know what are the fathers’ rights if not married? What about the rights of biological father not on a birth certificate? These are trickier situations than if you were married when your children were born, but fathers still have options here too.
Fathers Not Listed on Birth Certificates
In the scenario that you find yourself not listed on your child’s birth certificate, you must begin by establishing paternity so you may legally adopt your child. However, in some cases this will not be enough. Many states require both parents to consent to adoption with other additional requirements.
Once you have established paternity, you may be required to demonstrate a commitment to parenting the child. In order to complete this requirement, fathers must provide for their child’s physical and emotional needs, while also forming as full a parental relationship with the child as is possible.
In some cases, demonstrating a commitment like this would start in the pregnancy stages by helping to pay expenses of both the pregnancy and birth, and then continuing to pay child support after birth. If you are unable to provide support in these ways, or if you have abuse issues of any kind, you may be deemed unable to demonstrate your commitment to the child.
Unmarried Fathers to Children
If you were unmarried at the time you child was conceived, you will need to follow similar steps. Begin by establishing paternity. Once you have done this, you will be able to request visitation, in addition to being responsible to support the child financially, emotionally, and physically.
The presumption of paternity always lands on men who were married to the mother during pregnancy. As an unmarried partner, you will need to take these additional legal steps.
Fathers for Equal Rights
The Fathers’ Rights Movements consists mostly of fathers fighting for equal rights to support their children and to make decisions regarding their children. There are many facets of this movement, and often the issues here stem from a power imbalance in the parenting relationship between a mother and father.
Are you seeking more responsibility and decision-making power in your child’s life? Take the time to explore information on family law and what your current rights are. If you need more help, contact a lawyer to begin assessing your legal rights today.