As a father, you have a legal right to spend time with your child. While there is a common misconception that mothers have a greater right to receive custody of a child, California law works to provide both parents the same right to custody and parenting time (visitation).
Our San Diego fathers’ rights attorney at Gordon D. Cruse, APLC can help you understand and assert your legal rights. With 36+ years in practice and extensive civil trial experience, we understand how to navigate all types of complex family law matters. We work to protect the best interests of your child first and foremost, providing compassionate and personalized representation in the face of delicate and contentious custody and/or parenting time disputes.
If you are a father in need of assistance with child custody or parenting time, reach out to our firm today to speak to a skilled and experienced attorney. Call (619) 431-4523.
One of the key elements of protecting your rights as a father is establishing paternity. In essence, you must legally prove that you are the father or adoptive father of your child in order to maintain the right to spend time with him or her.
In California, paternity is automatically assumed in the following circumstances:
Additionally, a father who has legally adopted a child is granted the same paternity rights as a biological father. If one of these circumstances does not apply to your situation, this does not mean you are unable to establish paternity. In fact, California allows for paternity actions to be filed with the court in order to establish paternity.
Paternity actions may be brought by:
Once the paternity action has been brought, the court may use a variety of methods to establish the child’s father. Typically, this is done through DNA testing. If a party refuses to submit to DNA testing, the judge may consider this evidence of parentage.
If you are the legal father of a child, you have the right to seek custody and parenting time (also known as “visitation”) to spend time with your child. There are very limited instances in which this right may be limited. In most cases, one parent will be awarded primary custody and the other will be the non-custodial parent. The child will primarily live with the custodial parent and spend a certain amount of time—either supervised or unsupervised—with the non-custodial parent. A parenting time schedule can be agreed upon by the two parents; however, when the issue of parenting time is contentious, a judge will likely rule on a parenting time schedule.
If you are concerned about child custody or parenting time, or the mother of your child has threatened to not allow you to see your child, reach out to Gordon D. Cruse, APLC as soon as possible. Our Seattle fathers’ rights lawyers can help you protect your rights and your child’s best interests.
Give us a call at (619) 431-4523 or submit an online request form to schedule your initial consultation.