If you are the father of a child, there are certain legal rights you have as a matter of course. Only a judge can terminate those rights, and then only after a properly-filed petition and a hearing.
If you do not understand your basic rights as a father, however, it is much easier for someone to deprive you of them. It is very important that fathers seek legal advice in order to avoid having their parental rights violated. The attorneys at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego can help you to be sure that your rights as a father are protected.
Protecting Your Paternal Rights
Your rights as a parent are critical, and you should always ensure that you take the steps necessary to make sure that your former spouse does not take advantage of you and try to curtail them. In order to protect your paternal rights, you should try to follow these guidelines:
- Pay child support on time. One of the biggest reasons that fathers do not see their children is their failure to pay child support on time. While a mother cannot legally deny a father the right to see his child based on failure to pay child support, in reality few fathers are going to press the visitation issue if they know that they could be arrested for failure to pay. The best way to avoid this problem is to pay your child support on time every month through payroll deduction.
- Exercise visitation rights. It is important that you comply with the visitation schedule. Failure to do so could be used against you later. If you must change the schedule or skip a visitation period, send your former spouse a request in writing so you have documentation.
- Talk to an attorney. Having your own attorney is one of the best ways to protect your rights as a parent. Fathers without an attorney are much more likely to have their visitation rights curtailed and their child support raised than those who have a lawyer fighting for them, so hiring an attorney is not really an option for most men.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center in San Diego are here to help. Let us fight for your parental rights so that you and your children can enjoy a healthy and happy relationship after divorce. Call today to discuss your case with our experienced family law attorneys.