San Bernardino Father’s Rights Lawyer

SAN BERNARDINO FATHER’S RIGHTS ATTORNEY

Children need their fathers. Fathers want to be there for their children. It seems, though, that the legal system can get in the way of that. There’s no reason why that should be, though. Fathers have an equal right to involvement in their children’s lives in San Bernardino, CA. As hard as divorce may be, as family lawyers, we know it is often dealing with the new reality as it pertains to children that can be the hardest. We also know that fathers can often feel lost, like the odds are against them, and unsure of what to do. That’s where we can help fathers. We are ready to fight alongside you for your rights and for your children.

San Bernardino Father's Rights Lawyer

WHAT RIGHTS DO FATHERS HAVE

Fathers may feel like they don’t have the same rights as mothers. Culturally, it seems there is some idea that in the case of divorce, mothers have more rights than fathers regarding the children. Legally, nothing could be further from the truth. According to California law, fathers and mothers have exactly the same rights. Furthermore, the law expressly prohibits judges from making child custody rulings based on sex or gender. This means that any perception there is that Fathers have fewer rights is false.

It can still be hard to argue that the rulings regarding child custody are anywhere close to equal. The only way to change that is for fathers to start to assert their rights. It’s not uncommon for fathers, thinking they won’t get a fair chance from the court, to negotiate away the rights they thought they would lose anyway. That doesn’t have to be the way it’s done. Fathers can protect their rights by standing up for them, and that process starts with a family lawyer who is willing to do that with you.

LEGAL CUSTODY

Fathers have an equal right to decision-making regarding their children. Sometimes you will hear this referred to as joint legal custody, and the court must have a solid reason if they aren’t going to award it to both parents. This legal custody means you have a right to be involved in your child’s life, particularly the most important aspects, including:

  • Whether or not to bring your child up with a religion and what that religion will be
  • Your child’s health, medical treatment, doctor’s visits, and medication
  • Your child’s schooling and extra-curricular activities
  • Access to your child’s school and medical records
  • Parenting decisions

The ability to have a voice in these kinds of decisions is essential for a father. We help fathers to keep these rights.

PARENTING TIME

As a father, you have a right to equal time with your children. However, we understand that this is not always easy to work out, particularly if the mother of the children has lesser work responsibilities. With that said, it’s important to focus on the quality of the time over the quantity. Understand, as well, that whatever the initial court order was regarding this matter can be changed over time. As children get older and look after themselves for a little while when waiting for you to get home from work, then it may be that you can increase your time with the children. The same is true if you are able to shift work responsibilities in a way that allows you more time where you could care for them. You have a right to equal, or roughly equal, time with your children. Make sure you push to get it.

FALSE ACCUSATIONS

One of the hardest things for fathers to deal with is if they are falsely accused by the mother of their children. We would like to think that such things don’t happen. When you’ve seen as much as we have practicing family law, you realize that some people will do heinous things to get their way. Sometimes, false accusations become a part of the child custody process.

The courts rightfully take the possibility of domestic violence or child abuse very seriously. Their primary objective is to do what’s in the child’s interest. And many people may be prone not to believe fathers when they decry an accusation as false. Undoubtedly, these are situations where a father’s rights are at greatest risk.

An accusation, though, without evidence to back up the claim should never be enough to take a father’s rights away. We can help you in these situations. If your accuser is lying, there will be evidence to support that, which can often be uncovered in discovery and depositions. We can help you make sure you leave nothing to chance in defending both your father’s rights and your honor.

PARENTAL ALIENATION

Parental alienation is an issue we wish didn’t happen but needs to be firmly addressed if it does. This is when one parent tries to denigrate and undermine the other in the eyes of the child, trying to isolate the other parent from the child. Sadly, this is something fathers become a victim of and must fight.

This alienation may take several forms, including:

  • Disparaging comments in front of the child
  • Disparaging comments by others in front of the child
  • Criticism of the other parent in front of the child
  • Telling the child that the other parent doesn’t love the child or family
  • Telling the child the other parent is to blame for the divorce
  • Undermining the other parent’s authority
  • False allegations
  • Presenting themselves as the good parent, allowing them to make decisions that aren’t yet age-appropriate while presenting the other parent as the mean one

It is important to fight parental alienation right away if you get word of it occurring. It’s not fair to your child to be used in this way. Parental alienation may have negative consequences for their mental health and well-being. It may even be cause for altering the custody order. We know it is important to your kids’ mental health and well-being to protect them from this type of treatment. Let us help you bring the situation to a conclusion.

WHAT TO DO IF RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED

There are two things that are absolutely necessary to do if you believe your rights as a father are being violated. The first is to document everything. The better a record you have of your situation, the better chance you stand of putting together an argument in your favor. The second thing you need is someone experienced in these issues on your side. That’s where we can help. We have many years of experience dealing with divorce and child custody issues. We can help defend a father’s rights.

FAQS:

Q: What Are a Father’s Legal Rights in California?

A: Simply put, they are the same as a mother’s legal rights. The law prohibits courts from making decisions about child custody on the basis of sex or gender. Unless the court has good cause to choose something different, they should award joint legal custody to both parents. However, despite all this, we know that even rights have to be fought for, so whatever your legal rights are, you will have to assert yourself to exercise them. That’s something we help fathers do.

Q: How Long Does a Father Have to Be Absent To Lose His Rights in California?

A: A parent can petition that the other parent has abandoned a child and should lose parent rights when that other parent has:

  • Failed to provide financial support
  • Had no contact, or very little, with the child for at least one year
  • Intended to abandon the child

Q: What Can Cause A Father to Lose His Legal Rights?

A: Under California law, there are a few different circumstances that give a parent the opportunity to petition the court to terminate the rights of the other parent. These include:

  • Neglect or cruelty toward the child
  • Abandonment
  • Conviction of a felony along with consideration of criminal record prior to a felony conviction
  • Declaration of developmental disability or mentally ill
  • Alcohol, controlled substances, or moral depravity leading to disability
  • Mental disability

Q: What Can I Do if My Rights as a Father Have Been Violated?

A: Rights that you don’t stand up for can get taken away. So, you’ll need to be assertive. The first thing you should do is respectfully address your concern with the child’s mother in some written form, so you have a record. Be sure to document everything you can about the situation. Get hold of attorneys like ourselves, who are experienced at helping men defend their rights.

YOU’LL NEVER HAVE THE RIGHTS YOU DON’T STAND UP FOR

We know that, at times, it can feel like everything is standing against you as a father trying to be there for his children. We understand why it can seem that way, but just know that it’s not meant to be. Legally, there is no reason why it should be that way. To ensure your rights are protected, you need to fight for them, and that’s what we help fathers do. We know that our kids are worth fighting for, and if you need someone to help you in that fight. Contact us today, and let us help you be there for your kids.

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