St. Petersburg Father’s Rights and Paternity Attorneys
A father typically shares the same rights regarding their child as the mother does. They have the right to decision making regarding their child, as well as the right of access to their child.
However, if the mother and father are not married at the time the child is born, then the mother becomes the sole legal parent of the child, and as such, has the option to completely control all aspects of the child’s rearing, regardless of the father’s wishes.
If you are an unwed father who wants to obtain rights to your child(ren), then the first step is to contact an experienced Father’s Rights Attorney who can assist you with obtaining the rights and access you deserve.
Obtaining Paternal Rights
There is a set process for obtaining your rights as a father, and you have the option to complete as much or as little of the process as you desire. If you simply want to be recognized as the father of the child, then you would only need to have paternity determined. This can be as simple as signing an affidavit in front of a notary, or may be as complex as having DNA testing done to prove paternity. Establishing paternity is the first step of the process, and must be completed in order to be recognized as the father, regardless of the level of involvement you desire to have with the child.
Establishing paternity can make you liable for child support, so it is important that you recognize that even if you do not wish to have relationship with the child, once you are legally recognized as the father, you may be responsible for a portion of the child’s financial support.
Child Support, Parental Responsibility, & Time Sharing
The next components are those of child support, parental responsibility, and time-sharing, just as is established with a child of divorce.
Child Support is a court ordered payment that is typically paid monthly and is intended to provide the child with financial support, and is calculated using the incomes of both parents in relation to the expenses related to the child.
Parental Responsibility relates to decision making for the child, such as where they go to school and the type of healthcare that they receive. Parental Responsibility can be split evenly between the two parents, or one parent may be legally granted the ability to cast a deciding vote in major decisions.
Time Sharing is the actual amount of time that each parent has with the child. There is no regular agreement, as every family is unique with different needs and schedules. We always strive for a time sharing agreement that not only works with the schedules of the parents, but is in the best interests of the child, and allows both parents ample time to build a healthy and loving relationship with their child.
Consultation with a St. Petersburg Father’s Rights Attorney
If you are interested in learning more about how you can begin to build a relationship with your child, contact us now at (727) 201-2724 for a consultation with an experienced and dedicated St. Petersburg Father’s Rights Lawyer.