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Fathers' rights in child custody matters

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This blog often discusses how the custody of a child during a divorce can be a highly contested issue full of emotions. While this is certainly true for some couples, child custody disputes can arise in other contexts as well, particularly when a child is born out of wedlock. In these instances, fathers may have difficulties acquiring time with their child and, in many cases, even being recognized as the father. However, men in these scenarios have legal rights. Hopefully this post will help clarify them.

Men who believe they are the biological father of a child have legal right to establish paternity. After doing this, fathers may be able to acquire legal rights to their child. This means that after paternity is established a biological father might seek child custody. He may be able to make legal arguments in favor of being awarded child custody. On the other hand, after establishing paternity a father seeking custody of his child may be limited to parenting time or be ordered to pay child support. Therefore, there is a lot to consider when exercising one's legal rights.

When it comes to child custody, a court will put the best interests of the child first and foremost. This means the court will assess each parent's income, relationship with the child, history of substance abuse and violence and parenting ability, amongst other factors. Then, based on this information, the court will award custody and parenting time according to what it feels is best for the child.

Acquiring the help of a Tucson family law attorney can be beneficial in child custody and parenting time cases. An attorney can help present a parent's case as fully and as detailed as possible, ensuring the court knows exactly why the parent is best suited for custody. Hopefully then the parent can build the relationship he or she desires with his or her child.

Source: AzLawHelp.org, "Paternity," accessed on Sept. 14, 2014

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