Although there are no longer any laws in Tennessee explicitly favoring mothers over fathers during child custody proceedings, family courts often still show bias against male parents. A father plays a vital role in a child’s life but must sometimes take the initiative to enforce his legal rights and fulfill his parental duties.
Representation from a seasoned Columbia father’s rights lawyer is vital for anyone looking to ensure they can remain in their child’s life. If your child’s mother refuses to allow you to see your kids, a knowledgeable family attorney will work to protect your interests and preserve your custodial rights.
How to Establish Paternity Over a Child in Columbia
In addition to biological testing, there are several ways to establish paternity in Tennessee. For example, if a mother is married to a man when she gives birth, the law presumes her husband is the child’s biological parent. Likewise, hospital staff will name a husband as a baby’s father on their birth certificate.
Alternatively, non-married parents may jointly establish paternity by filling out and signing a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” immediately after their child is born or shortly afterward.
However, if either parent disagrees about who fathered a child, it may be necessary to request DNA testing through a court. After establishing paternity, a father may ask the court for custody rights or visitation time with the child, which the court will resolve by considering the child’s best interests.
Anyone acknowledged as a child’s father – legally or biologically – may be obligated to financially support them in accordance with the state’s Child Support Guidelines. Child support obligations still apply even if a father has no custodial rights with their child, or if they are explicitly denied visitation time.
A local attorney could review documentation to determine if a father must legally pay support obligations to another parent.
Enforcing Existing Custody or Support Orders in Columbia
Even if a court acknowledges someone as a child’s father and grants them visitation or custody, the mother may interfere with such orders or even refuse to comply with them altogether.
In extreme situations, legal counsel plays a vital role by ensuring that the child’s other parent obeys a court order. If necessary, a legal team member will also demand any remittance for not following a previous custodial agreement. For example, at a lawyer’s request, a court might order that a parent pays a co-parent back for any unpaid child support payments.
It is always worth discussing situations like this with a legal representative before involving law enforcement. In some cases, a diligent lawyer in Columbia could resolve any issues at hand through private discussions or mediation, before incurring the expense of legal action.
Seek Help from a Columbia Father’s Rights Attorney
Like mothers, fathers have rights when requesting custody and financial support for their children. However, enforcing those rights can sometimes be challenging, especially without support from a seasoned legal professional.
A Columbia father’s rights attorney will help ensure you get the results you are entitled to as a parent. Call today for a consultation.