Birth Fathers: Asserting Your Legal Rights

You must do it correctly in order to be done effectively.

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As a father, you do have legal rights. It can be difficult to remember because a lot of focus is on the mother’s rights. But, it is crucial to remember that both parents have legal rights. And asserting those rights is imperative to retaining them. Your legal parental rights can help you in anything from custody battles to the adoption and placement process. While it is important to assert your parental rights when necessary, the real question is how to do so appropriately and effectively. Below you will find general guidelines on how to assert your rights correctly and in the right situations.

Study: Before you can assert your legal parental rights, you first have to know them and understand them completely. Start by studying about your rights as a father. If it’s helpful to you, list those rights– either on paper or on your computer– for easy access for you to refer to frequently. Take as much time as you need before you decide your course of necessary action. It’s important to fully understand all of your options beforehand and when you should assert your legal parental rights as the father of your child. Part of the studying process may even include talking with others who have been in your exact situation. Listen to their stories and hear their advice. It can help you obtain a more solid understanding of your situation and your possible course of action.

Know Your State: This is directly tied with studying. Every state has different parental rights laws, regulations, and rules. It is imperative that you thoroughly know your state’s statutes and regulations. This is the only way to navigate through the system. If you can’t find it on your own, contact your local government office for more information. They will be able to help you tremendously. They may even be able to recommend which information to re-read and which attorney or lawyer with whom to work.

Lawyer: After you’ve completed the studying that you feel is necessary, you might consider meeting with an attorney or a lawyer. He or she can help you more fully understand your situation, your needs, and your rights. Your attorney can help answer any questions you had while studying on your own. With the aid of an attorney or a lawyer, you can feel confident in the coming months– as it pertains to asserting your rights. Keep in mind that you don’t have to work with the first lawyer or attorney you come across. The important thing is that you trust him or her. Is your attorney professional? Honest? Hardworking? Knowledgeable? If not, find another one; there is a seemingly unlimited supply from which to choose.

Be Prepared: Now that you’ve studied and understand your rights as a father and have talked with or hired an attorney or a lawyer, it is now time to be prepared. Gather any documents you may need before any court proceedings occur. Not only will this help your stress levels stay low, but it gives you the opportunity to find everything you need or get a copy of what you’re missing.

Asserting your legal parental rights has to be done correctly in order to be done effectively. Before you can assert those rights, you must know what they are, how they pertain to you and your child, and what you need to do to retain them. It’s a process. It may seem overwhelming in the beginning of this learning experience, but it will become easier to understand concepts, statutes, and laws. In turn, you have better control over your rights, the rights of your child, your future, and your child’s future.

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