Beaufort Father’s Rights Lawyer
Both parents play an integral part in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, outdated laws and longstanding bias often force fathers to take aggressive action to defend their right to raise their children.
If you have questions about how to preserve your role in your child’s life, a knowledgeable Beaufort father’s rights lawyer is ready to answer them. Protecting a father’s rights is vital to the dedicated family attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton. They could work to ensure that you and your child enjoy a close and loving relationship.
The First Step in Establishing a Father’s Rights
Under state law, mothers are automatically presumed to be their child’s physical and legal custodians. If a mother is married when she gives birth, her husband is presumed as the child’s legal father. A father who is not married to the mother when the child is born must take legal action to secure his right to be involved in the child’s life.
If the unmarried parties agree that the man is the child’s father, they can sign a paternity acknowledgment when the child is born. Once signed, this document legally establishes paternity, and the father assumes all responsibilities for his child.
What Happens if a Mother Disputes a Dad’s Identity?
In some cases, the mother disputes the father’s identity, and he must then petition the court for a formal paternity determination. Family court judges typically order DNA testing to conclusively establish a man’s biological connection to a child. A man facing a contested paternity action is well-advised to seek representation from a skilled paternity attorney in Beaufort as soon as possible.
Establishing paternity offers many benefits to the child. Children who have meaningful relationships with their fathers generally have increased self-esteem and a sense of security. They also have the opportunity to develop relationships with extended family, understand their family and medical history, and receive health, social security, and other financial benefits related to their father.
What Rights do Fathers Have in Beaufort?
Across the country, the rights of dads are often overlooked after paternity is established. However, fathers have numerous rights depending on the specific custody arrangement he shares with the mother. Some of these include:
- Objecting to another person adopting his child
- Deciding significant matters about his child, such as education and healthcare
- Primary or shared custody
- Court-ordered visitation
- Objecting to the other parent relocating his child
- Consistent communication with his child when the child is not in his care
- Traveling with his child, in and out of state
Ultimately, fathers’ rights exist so that men can provide the best life possible for their children. A capable attorney in Beaufort could further explain the entitlements dads have.
Divorce Affecting a Dad’s Relationship with His Child
Many fathers understandably have the perception that women are at an advantage in divorce-related custody disputes. While this may once have been true, current state law mandates that fathers have equal rights to custody of their children. Rather than basing custody decisions on gender, a judge must consider only what is in the child’s best interests and evaluate each case based on that standard.
To determine best interests, a court may not favor one parent over the other. Instead, a judge must consider other factors outlined in the South Carolina Code of Laws §63-15-240, including but not limited to:
- Each parent’s ability to meet their child’s needs
- The child’s relationship with the parents, siblings, and extended family
- The child’s age and development
- The preferences of the child
- Each parent’s ability to raise the child
- The stability of each parent’s home
- Whether the child has been a victim of or witnessed domestic violence in either parent’s home
A Beaufort attorney experienced in father’s rights understands these standards and how a judge might apply them in a specific case.
Enlist a Beaufort Father’s Rights Attorney as Soon as Possible
A child benefits from a father who is committed to playing a vital role in their life. Similarly, fathers gain many rewarding experiences by developing a close relationship with their children.
If you are a father who needs to establish paternity or has questions about custody and visitation, contact a Beaufort father’s rights lawyer today. Our committed legal team wants to help you be the best dad you can be and would work tirelessly to enforce your legal rights as a parent. Call Schiller & Hamilton today to learn more.