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Helpful tips for fathers seeking custody and parenting time

If you are a father who did not get the opportunity to spend time with your children on Father’s Day, you are not alone. There unfortunately are countless fathers who have not had parenting time with their children for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are embroiled in an ongoing dispute with the child’s mother, or the mom has moved away with the children. In some instances, mom has set strict terms that dad simply can’t live up to.

Whatever your situation is, if you are longing for more time with your children, there are several things you can do, and this post will identify them.

Know what’s in your order – Most custody orders include a parenting time schedule that details when each parent is supposed to spend time with the child. If your order does not have one, perhaps it is necessary to ask the court to modify the order so that one may be included.

Get a court order – Many unmarried fathers come to us believing that they established custody by having their names on the child’s birth certificate. Unfortunately, being named on the birth certificate only identifies a man as a potential biological father, and does not confer any legal rights. A court order is necessary to establish custody and parenting time.

Be persistent – While it is tragic that a mother would withhold parenting time from a father based on a personal dispute, it is equally as tragic for a father to simply give up and not attempt to see the child. Fathers who don’t have a history of attempts in trying to maintain a relationship may find it difficult to cultivate such a relationship in the future. 

Source: Parentingafterdivorce.com “Emerging issues in relocation cases,” Philip M. Stahl, 2013

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