Fathers’ Rights Lawyers in Baltimore Making Sure Your Rights as a Father Aren’t Compromised
Being a dad is an amazing, truly life-changing experience. But for fathers who are not married to their child’s mother or who are going through a divorce, navigating the legal system can be complex and stressful. While fathers are proven to be incredibly important in children’s lives, fathers don’t always know what their rights are or if they have the right to custody of or visitation with their child once the divorce is finalized. At Paré & Associates, LLC, our team of experienced fathers’ rights attorneys can help make sure you are allowed to stay in your child’s life.
It may seem that the court favors mothers when it comes to physical custody of the children; however, a more in-depth look shows that society as a whole favors the mother when it comes to physical custody.
- In 51% of custody cases, both parents agree that the mother should have primary physical custody.
- Only 4% of custody cases go to trial.
- Of that 4%, fathers win custody of their children only 17% of the time.
This must change. More fathers have to fight for custody of their children or at least equal access. Mothers are not more important than fathers. They are not better at parenting. While a mother’s nature may build confidence, a father’s guidance builds adventure and curiosity. It is beyond dispute that children need both parents. Each parent has a unique bond with their child, and each bond is as important as the other if a child is going to develop into a well-balanced, confident adult.
The fathers’ rights lawyers at Paré & Associates, LLC in Baltimore will do everything they can to protect your rights as a dad. As a father, you should never have to feel like a stranger in your little one’s life. Contact our office at (301) 515-1190 for a free consultation today.
How Have Things Changed When It Comes to Determining Custody?
Maryland has strict laws when it comes to determining custody. These laws were put in place so that the courts would practice gender neutrality and realize that fathers and mothers both have an equal right to seek custody and that both parents are important to the development of the child. Maryland courts are supposedly committed to acting in a way they consider to be in the best interests of the children; however, the statistics listed above prove that they often show a bias toward mothers. This is unacceptable.
While the state of Maryland professes to be gender-blind in regard to parental rights, fathers are still at a huge disadvantage. You need the support of an aggressive and understanding Baltimore fathers’ rights attorney fighting for your role as a father.
How Can I Establish My Rights as a Father?
While mothers automatically are granted parental rights at the time of a child’s birth, this isn’t the case for fathers unless the father is married to the child’s mother. If the mother and father are married, then the father in question is presumed to be the child’s father, and parental rights are established as such. For fathers who are not married to the child’s mother, however, the process is not the same. In fact, even if you and the mother are in agreement that you are the child’s father, if you are not married at the time of your child’s birth, you will need to properly establish paternity; it will not be assumed. There are two ways to establish paternity in Maryland. The easiest option for establishing paternity if you are unmarried at the time of your child’s birth is for both you and the child’s mother to sign a voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. If both of you sign this form, as well as a witness, paternity will be established. You can do this at the time of your child’s birth at no cost.
That said if there is any doubt on the part of either party about who the father of the child is, an Acknowledgement of Paternity form will not be signed. If the mother believes that a man is a father, or if a man believes that he is a child’s father and the child’s mother disputes it, either party can ask the court to order that the child and the father submit to DNA testing. If testing confirms that the man is indeed the child’s father, the court will issue an order of paternity. Because this process is complicated, it’s in your best interests to have an established fathers’ rights attorney in your corner from the beginning, ensuring your rights are upheld, no matter what.
Why Do I Need to Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity is crucial. Not only is paternity important for your child, as children may benefit psychologically by knowing who their fathers are, as well as be able to collect benefits from their fathers’ existence, but it is also important if you plan to have anything to do with the child. If you have not established paternity, then you will not have the right to petition the court for legal or physical custody of your child, for visitation rights with your child, for child support from the child’s mother if you are the primary caregiver, or for making important decisions in regard to your child.
Can Fathers’ Rights Lawyers Really Help Me?
For many years the courts have favored mothers in custody hearings regardless of how often we hear that is no longer the case. It is time for the courts and society to recognize the key role a father plays in his child’s life. Children that grow up without a close relationship with their dad are more likely to struggle with things like poverty, criminal activity, teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse.
Parenting these days requires a team effort. Good parenting requires time and effort from both parents. It is no longer ok to simply assume that the mother is the parent who deserves custody of the child simply based on her gender. Getting the courts to acknowledge the crucial role fathers play in children’s lives can still be a difficult and complex process. If you feel that your rights as a dad have been violated in any way, contact the lawyers at Paré & Associates, LLC for the aggressive representation you can count on.