A FATHER'S RIGHT TO BE A PARENT
Boys need a father so they’ll know how to be good men. Girls need a father so they’ll know how to recognize a good man. It’s important for children to have both parents fulfilling parental roles in their lives – not just a Disneyland Dad on special occasions, but a real father who helps with homework and goes to ball games and school plays.
If you’re a father who was married to your children’s mother, you need to know that your role is not necessarily limited to just “visiting” your kids. The Family Court judge decides issues of custody and visitation based on what s/he believes is in the “best interests of the child.” Increasingly, courts accept that this may very well mean shared parenting and/or joint custody.
If you’re a father who was never married to your children’s mother, you have a challenge to overcome. Under SC law, an unmarried mother has sole custody of her child. See SC Code §63-17-20(B). Even if you’re under an order to pay child support, you don’t automatically have the right to parenting time with your child. But once paternity is established a judge can issue an order making sure you have parenting time with your children.
If you are fighting to become a part of your child’s life, but the other parent is fighting to keep you out, call me for an initial consultation at a flat fee. We’ll make a plan to protect your rights as a parent.