Many fathers contact our attorneys to ask what
rights they have to visit their child (or children) if they were never married
to the mother and there are no orders in place. The answer is that they
are at the mother’s mercy, alas. This results in inconsistent
visitations or even complete alienation due to a mother’s refusal to provide
visits. This is perilous to both the father and the child.
It is imperative for a father to establish a legal relationship with his
child in order to obtain certainty with regard to
custody and visitations, ensure that he is kept up-to-date on his child’s
well-being and, perhaps most importantly, be a part of the decision making
for his child’s healthcare, education, religious upbringing, travel,
etc. Establishing paternity through the court will provide a father with
legal rights to custody, visitation and decision making for his child.
Once paternity is established, the court can make custody and visitation
orders that serve a child’s best interests. The judges understand
that a strong bond with both parents benefits a child. An experienced
family law attorney at Claery & Hammond, LLP can help fathers obtain
the orders necessary to make sure they play a key role in parenting their children.
Lance Claery, Partner
Claery & Hammond, LLP