As a parent, you have the right to play an active role in the life of your child. As a father who is getting divorced or an unmarried father seeking to establish paternity in order to secure regular visitation, you may find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of your rights as a father.
Traditionally, mothers had primary custody of the children, with fathers only receiving visitation on weekdays or every other weekend. Fortunately, it is now more common for fathers to have an equitable share of parenting time, and New Hampshire law grants fathers and mothers equal parenting time.
Take action to secure rightful access to your children
If you are considering divorce, it is important to have a clear objective in mind before you embark on a lengthy custody battle. Fathers may be able to achieve their goals without litigation by working with an experienced family law attorney to resolve the following issues:
- Custody and parenting plan
- Visitation schedule
- Legal rights
- Financial responsibilities
- Keeping the family home
- Maintaining stability for the children
Divorce is not the only reason that fathers may find it necessary to take legal action to preserve their rights. Fathers who are not married to the mother of their child or are not listed on the birth certificate may file a paternity action. Once legally identified, the biological father will have the right to seek custody, visitation and an input in major decisions regarding their children.
Fathers and mothers both have the responsibility to financially support their children until they reach the age of 18. Typically, the primary custodian of the children will receive child support, but this determination is based on a formula and the details of the individual case.
Avoid a court battle while still pursuing your legal objective
Fathers' rights are often at the heart of contentious custody battles, with both parents seeking an outcome that suits their needs and desires. Litigation can be both costly and stressful, and it is quite rare that both parents will walk away satisfied with the court's decision.
Litigation is not your only option. It is possible to protect your rights as a father as well as the best interests of your kids by working with an attorney to pursue a co-parenting plan. With the help of an experienced legal ally, you can tenaciously advocate for a strong relationship with your kids without ever stepping inside of a courtroom.