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Fathers' Rights

The mother and father of any child in the state of North Carolina both have equal rights under the law, assuming that they have each established themselves as fit to raise the child in question. Unfortunately, these rights can be affected by circumstances that don't reflect the normal conditions of a husband and wife who've had a child.

When the mother and father of a child are no longer together, the rights of each are subject to compromise, some of which are not always fair or equal. Fathers often feel the brunt of the inequalities that can result from a mother-father relationship that does not involve the couple being together. In order to preserve the rights of fathers whose parental privileges have been neglected, a Monroe family lawyer at our office can be contacted for support.

Preserve Your Right to Child Custody & Visitation

The father of a child does not need to be married to the mother in order to retain custody or visitation rights. Whether you are newly divorced, or you were never married to begin with, your rights as a father should not be compromised by the relationship that you have (or don't have) with the child's mother. When circumstances create barriers to the rights that you are legally entitled to as a father, an attorney can step in to remedy the situation.

Parenting Agreements vs. Court Orders

A father's right to custody or visitation of his child can be established in one of two ways; either through a parenting agreement or through a court-ordered mandate. Typically, if both parents are willing to negotiate in order to reach an agreement about the terms and conditions under which the time with their children will be split, a parenting plan can be established. An attorney can help you establish the conditions of your parenting plan, and the completed product must then be submitted to the court for approval. Upon a judge's review, the parenting plan will be accepted and officially put into action. Within the legal document, the following conditions must be addressed:

  • Which parent will maintain primary custody of the child
  • Which parent will be responsible for decision making regarding the child's health, education, & religion
  • What visitation periods will look like, i.e. time and place

Only when parents cannot come to an agreement on their own regarding the ways in which they wish their child to be raised will the court need to step in and make the decisions for them. In these cases, a contested hearing will be brought before the court, during which time a judge will review the circumstances of each parent in order to make a ruling that reflects what is in the best interests of the child involved. Unless extenuating circumstances prove otherwise, it is the general assumption of the court that a child will unequivocally benefit from having both parents involved in their life. This bodes well for fathers who might otherwise fear that they will not be given parental rights simply because of their gender.

It is no longer customary for the courts to automatically defer child custody rights to the mother of a child. Now, family law courts invest great amounts of time and consideration into the decision that is made regarding which parent would be most fit to responsibly raise the child in question. As mentioned before, the ultimate decisions that are issued will reflect the court's belief that the circumstances of the order reflect what will be in the best interest of the child.

Protect Your Rights: Contact a Monroe Family Law Attorney

Fathers are often discouraged by preconceived notions which seem to suggest that they stand little chance of retaining custodial or visitation rights of their children if they are not married to the child's mother; however, this is no longer the norm. In fact, it is now standard to protect the rights of both mothers and fathers equally, thereby ensuring that fathers are given ample opportunity to spend time with their children, regardless of their relationship with the child's mother.

At Collins Family Law Group, our attorneys have been practicing in the field of family law for over 20 years. As such, we feel confident in our ability to effectively represent the clients who seek our firm for help. Educated in our field, and skilled in our practice, we have helped a number of Monroe residents establish the legal means necessary to retain their parental rights, and we are more than prepared to do the same for you. Consulting with a professional member of our team is completely confidential, so don't hesitate to contact us about any questions that you have regarding your rights as a father, and how they can be preserved in North Carolina.

Collins Family Law Group - Monroe Divorce Attorney
Located at 114 North Main Street, Monroe, NC 28112.
Phone: (704) 269-6697.
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