For many, one of the greatest joys in life is bringing new life into the world. On the flip side, as a Heber Family Lawyer can attest, there’s nothing quite as difficult as two people who were once a couple and are now separating. This is especially the case when there are children involved. The action of a breakup also brings up many questions about parental rights.
Gordon Law Group knows exactly how emotionally draining this situation can be for everyone involved. Here, we’ll explore parental rights in Utah and how now being legally bound could have an impact.
Who gets custody?
A family lawyer in Heber City UT would be able to provide much more specific details, but generally speaking, custody automatically defaults to the mother when a couple is not married. Furthermore, if the father was not listed on the birth certificate, he will have no rights to the child. To get any type of custody agreement, paternity will have to be established.
What rights does a natural mother have in Utah?
Since the mother is automatically classified as the primary parent, she has the authorization to decide if, when, and how often visitation is allowed with the father. The mother has the right to decide if the child is allowed to see others as well, such as grandparents from both the maternal and paternal sides of the family.
She also is entitled to make all decisions for the child, such as whether or not to have specific medical treatment or how they are educated. Government assistance, if necessary, would also be an option for the mom.
What if the father is on the birth certificate?
Even when the father’s paternity is claimed by being listed on the birth certificate, the custody is still with the mother. If the child ends up being removed from the mother’s care by the Division of Family and Child Services (DFCS), their father will become the primary parent.
If the father wants more access to the child but is being denied by the mother, it would behoove him most to get a Heber Parent Rights Attorney to look into his unique situation. While it would be great if parents could agree on the needs of the child without intervention, it is always best to have something in writing either way.
How can a father gain rights?
The first thing a father who wants to be acknowledged needs to do is prove paternity. To do so, there are options. One way to establish paternity is by signing the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity form. Another way is through a court order. If both parents agree, however, then paternity would be voluntary.
If the father wants proof that he is, in fact, the father, he can have his Heber City family law attorney provide him with a Paternity Testing Request form, which would need to be notarized. This would prompt a DNA test to be performed.
Since the mother retains control of a child, it might put the parents at odds. If the mother is having issues with the father or is uncomfortable putting together arrangements for visitation, a Heber Family Law Attorney can help. She can also go the legal route to establish paternity.
The same goes for father. If the two parents are unable to put together a schedule of visitation and care for their child outside of intervention, it might be best to get a Heber City family lawyer involved. This will take the pressure from the co-parenting relationship so the two can have proper boundaries in place to move forward.