As an unwed father, other parties may have made you feel as if you have no rights to your child. The mother of the child may not want you to have contact with the child for whatever reason, but you need to understand that you do have parental rights. Though enforcing these rights may seem difficult, you have legal options for ensuring that your rights don’t get trampled unjustly.
Because having a relationship with your child may be your most desired outcome, you may feel willing to face the potential complications that could come along with custody issues. Luckily, you can gain information and assistance that may make the process seem less daunting.
One of the biggest issues you could face involves the mother of the child denying your relation to the child. If the question of paternity arises, you may need to take paternity test. The results of this test could solidify your role as the child’s father and help you work toward enforcing your rights in that capacity. After establishing paternity, you can move forward with addressing custody and visitation agreements.
If you and the child’s mother can work together, you may have the ability to create a custody agreement and visitation schedule on your own that the court can approve. By gaining court approval and having the agreement and schedule legally acknowledged, you can lessen the likelihood of someone violating your parental rights.
Of course, if the mother does not want to cooperate as far as amicably creating a custody agreement, you may need to take further legal action. A court order may prove necessary in order for you to have the ability to see and spend time with your child. During the process of obtaining such an order, the court will assess the circumstances and determine what arrangements will act in the best interests of the child.
Child custody issues often cause tension and stress, and many parents may feel threatened by the idea of having to share their child. However, if one parent denies another parent access to their child, serious issues could result. For unmarried parents, enforcing rights can feel like an uphill battle, but taking the proper legal action can help.
Rather than feeling as if you have to fight this battle alone, you may wish to enlist the assistance of an experienced Utah attorney. This legal professional can explain your parental rights and help you work toward the custody outcomes you desire.