Fathers’ Rights in New Haven Custody Cases
As society has progressed, it has become more aware that the role of the father is equally important to a child as the role of the mother. This recognition has spread into the legal world as well. In the past, if two parents separated then fathers had very limited rights and typically saw their children two weekends every month.
This biased understanding of fathers and their relationship with their children is now shifting in both social and legal settings. Fathers now have much more of a right to their children than they did in the past.
If you are involved in a custody situation you should not fear that your gender will hinder your rights. However, you should speak to an experienced New Haven custody lawyer to understand what the most likely custody outcome may be for you and your children. A knowledgeable and determined attorney will know about fathers’ rights in New Haven custody cases and can fight to make sure that yours are protected.
Connecticut Custody Law and Impact of Gender
New Haven law now expressly states that in regard to custody, it is now gender-neutral. This means that neither mother nor father has a presumption that they should automatically obtain full or primary custody of the child.
However, since it was not too long ago that mothers were typically favored the court has created a pamphlet informing men of their rights as fathers. The main area in which gender may apply is determining paternity of the child. There are three ways in which paternity can be established.
If a couple is married when the mother becomes pregnant then there is a presumption that the husband is the father. However, if the couple is not married when the child is born, then both parents can sign a paternity form either right at the hospital after birth or later at the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
If neither of those situations applies, a person can ask that the court order genetic testing to determine paternity. Another right that a father has is to prevent the mother from placing the child in adoption. If a father is aware that the mother of their child is planning on adoption but they disagree, they should contact an attorney who can give them more information on preventing the adoption and their rights as a father in New Haven custody cases.
Child Custody Factors
Since both parents have equal rights to their children, the court uses numerous factors to decide what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child.
- Any charges of neglect or abuse of another child by either parent
- The completion of any parenting program
- Relationship between the child, parent and other important family members
- Child’s cultural background
- Capacity of either parent to understand and fulfill child’s needs
- If either parent tries to create issues between a parent and child or involves a child in adult conflicts
- Domestic violence issues that impacted the child
- Each person’s ability to encourage a relationship between the other parent and child and follow custody arrangements
- The length of time the child has lived in their home, if one parent moves out so that the child can stay in the house then that will not reflect badly on that parent
- How a child has adjusted to the home
- Household stability for each parent
- Ability of each parent to be involved in the child’s life
- Character and developmental needs of the child
- Any information the child provides to the court, including their preference for which parent they want to live with
- Physical and mental health of each parent (however this cannot be the sole reason unless it is so significant that it will not be in the best interest of the child)
- The sort of custody arrangement the parents are requesting
Speak with a New Haven Child Custody Attorney
Do not assume that just because you are a father involved in a child custody case, that you have no chance of prevailing in court. Fathers’ rights in New Haven custody cases are just as important and relevant as those of the mother. As a father, you have the right to be involved in your children’s lives, and an attorney can help you do that. A New Haven child custody lawyer can examine all of the aspects of your case and advise you of all your legal options going forward. Contact a qualified attorney and know that you are in good hands.