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Pursuing fathers' rights in Georgia

Many of the children born in the United States go on to be raised by unwed parents. In most cases, it is the mother who has legal and primary custody of the child, often leaving fathers out of the loop. In a May blog post, the topic of using a mother's legal action as a tool for fatherhood showed dads one way to acquire fathers' rights, but there are other ways as well. This post will offer fathers who want to share in the care of their children additional insight into gaining access to their kids.

Whenever possible, unwed parents should seek out ways to communicate effectively. Regarding the best interests of the children, a best-case scenario is working out parenting plan details together and in a cooperative manner. However, sometimes parents simply cannot find common ground in matters of visitation and custody. Like divorced fathers, unwed dads can choose to pursue their rights in a courtroom setting.

When this occurs, a judge will review the circumstances carefully and arrange a visitation schedule and a parenting plan that speaks to the needs of the children. If he has not already done so, a father must take steps to prove he is the father of the children. This could mean a DNA paternity test or more simply, both parents completing an acknowledgement of paternity document.

Once parents have established a parenting plan or custody agreement of visitation schedule, the judge will enter a formal court order. At this point, the best thing a father can do to retain his rights is to abide by the order. Any violation can result in loss of fathers' rights.

Children have a right to cultivate a relationship with both parents. Lawrenceville fathers facing visitation or custody issues would likely benefit from discussing their case with a local family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Visitation, Child Custody and Unmarried Fathers," accessed June 18, 2015

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