It used to be that a mother was seen as the primary caregiver of a child. This led to custody often being awarded to mothers over fathers. Things have changed and the courts realize that fathers have a substantial effect on a child’s life. Fathers rights are legitimate and you’re just as likely to gain custody as the mother – barring certain circumstances.
Child custody in California is determined by the best interest of the child. This is a standard used in San Jose and the rest of California to maintain equality in custody cases. This means that the court will determine which parent has the best interest of the child in mind and will provide the best environment for the child.
As a father, you have the right to seek custody of your child. You and the mother both have the right to request visitation rights. Both parties are viewed as equal by the courts. Just like in any child custody case, there are a few things that could prevent you from gaining visitation rights or custody of your kids.
If there is evidence of child abuse, domestic abuse, drug abuse, or addiction by either party, this will impact child custody.
The courts make it a priority to keep both parents as involved in their kids’ lives as possible. This is because, in San Jose, the courts believe children benefit from a healthy loving relationship with both parents.
As a father, if you have a better relationship with your child and are better able to care for them, the courts are likely to award you custody. This is all based on case to case, however.
Paternity And Custody
To be eligible for child custody, a male must prove (or have done so previously) parentage or paternity. In San Jose, these terms are used synonymously.
Paternity can be established in a variety of ways.
- VDP – This is a voluntary declaration of paternity. It is used when a child is born in a medical setting and both parents or parties acknowledge each other as the legal parents through signing this form. This adds the father as the rightful parent on the birth certificate alongside the mother.
- Paternity/ Parentage Action – A paternity test can be ordered by multiple parties to determine parentage. A potential father seeking to legitimize his claim or a mother using the services of the child support agency are a couple examples.
In some cases, paternity may have already been established. A child born in marriage is considered to be the child of both married parties. If the parents are unmarried but are living together in a familial situation, the male is considered the child’s father. This is, of course, if he has taken on a parental role with the child despite not being the biological father in some cases.
Fathers Rights And Child Support
To be determined as the primary caregiver and custodian of a child means that child will live with you. You are responsible for housing and caring for the child the majority of the time, and can determine where they live. The other parent may be granted visitation rights, barring any circumstances mentioned above that jeopardize the safety of the child.
As the primary custodian, you have the right to request child support from the other party. This is a sum paid monthly that helps with the costs of raising your child.
If you’re a father seeking information on fathers rights, contact an experienced attorney at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri. We offer free 30 minute consultations.