Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
Free Consultations 951-335-0510
An experienced attorney committed to clients and the riverside community
Menu Contact

How unmarried fathers can get visitation rights

Biological fathers in California have a legal right to access to their children, but they might need to take some steps to establish that right. First, it may be necessary to establish paternity. While this may simply involve signing an acknowledgement of paternity, in disputed cases, it could involve DNA testing.

Parents will need to negotiate a parenting agreement that spells out when the child will spend time with each of them. This can be done before the legal process is underway. If parents cannot reach an agreement, they may need to go to court and have a judge decide. Even if parents do not have to go to court to make the agreement, the advantage of submitting it to court for approval is that it becomes legally binding. This means that the agreement can be enforced if either parent violates it.

Courts generally work from the assumption that it is in the best interests of the child to have contact with both parents. However, if one parent is a danger to the child because of issues such as abuse, courts may block visitation. It would also be unusual for an unmarried father to be granted sole custody of a child unless he is already the primary caregiver or the mother is found to be unfit in some way.

Parents may help make this process less difficult by focusing on the best interests of the child. If they had a relationship that ended badly, they may be tempted to try to punish their former partner using the child, but they should make an effort to set those feelings aside. With their attorneys, they might be able to create guidelines around coparenting that address any major issues that either parent is concerned about.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody and Visitation Rights for Unmarried Fathers," 10/26/2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Safehouse Soroptimist - Best for Women RCBA - Riverside County Bar Association San Bernardino County Bar Avvo Client's Choice 2015 Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb - Top attorney Family

Free Initial Consultation

Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We promise to call back within few hours.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response

Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
6877 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951-335-0510
Fax: 951-686-8195
Riverside Law Office Map