If you are like most men, you cherish your role as a father immensely. Protecting your children and nurturing your relationship with them is paramount. The laws and precedents surrounding custody and other parenting issues can be intricate. Seeking guidance from a dedicated family legal advisor is wise.
When you are divorcing, separating from your children’s co-parent, or want a relationship with a child you have not legally acknowledged, consult a Kawartha Lakes father’s rights lawyer. An experienced lawyer like Paul Riley could offer invaluable advice about preserving and enhancing your role in your children’s lives.
If you are unmarried, you can establish your parental rights in several ways. The simplest option is signing the child’s birth registration to convey legal parental rights. If you lived with the mother and the child was born within 300 days of the last day you cohabitated, you are legally presumed to be the father under the Children’s Law Reform Act s.7.
If you fathered a child with a woman married or cohabitating with someone else within 300 days of birth, the other individual would be presumed the child’s father. In most instances, you would need to submit a genetic test to a court for a declaration of parentage. If you co-parent a same-sex partner’s biological or adopted child, you might need to adopt the child to assert parental rights. A dedicated father’s rights lawyer in Kawartha Lakes could advise you on how best to secure the legal rights of parentage in a specific case.
You can also establish parentage through your actions. Raising a child in your home, providing for the child financially, and treating the child as your own can confer parental rights. Courts have granted fatherhood rights—including the obligation to pay child support—to individuals without a biological relationship to the child, based on the man treating the child as if it were his own.
Although it is common to discuss a father’s right to spend time with his children, the reality is that children have the right to a meaningful relationship with their father. The law protects the children’s rights and promotes a parenting time arrangement that serves the children’s best interests.
Ideally, parents decide where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. If effective communication between you and your children’s mother is not feasible, a Kawartha Lakes father’s advocacy lawyer could negotiate with her legal counsel to formulate a parenting plan. Mediation is often beneficial for developing such a plan.
The children’s best interests should always be the primary consideration when creating a parenting plan. A custody arrangement that fosters the children’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being must be the goal of negotiations. In most cases, the arrangement that best supports the children’s well-being includes significant time with parents and shared decision-making responsibility.
When parents reach a consensus on a custody arrangement, the judge will allocate parenting time and decision-making responsibility. Factors the judge considers include:
A family law professional like Paul Riley could explain other pertinent factors in a judge’s decision for your specific case.
Occasionally, a parent has concerns about their children’s safety while under the other parent’s care. If one parent seeks primary custody and limits the other’s parenting time, they must demonstrate the other parent’s unfit behavior. A skilled fatherhood advocate in Kawartha Lakes could assist you in building a persuasive case to prove the mother’s unsuitability or to defend against such allegations.
When parents conflict over parenting time and custody, judges often appoint a professional from the Office of Children’s Lawyer (OCL) to advise the court. The OCL may assign a social worker to meet with each parent, the children, household members, and concerned parties. Following an investigation, the OCL recommends the arrangement that best supports the children’s interests.
When you do not live with your children’s mother, you often must fight to retain your position in your children’s life. You will need a seasoned legal professional experienced in family law.
A Kawartha Lakes father’s rights lawyer like Paul Riley could advocate for your relationship with your children. Call The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm today. We are available 24 hours a day and have years of experience handling cases like yours.
Now you can have your Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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