Why unmarried fathers may have trouble with parenting time
It is frustrating for unmarried fathers who have relationship issues with the mother of their children; primarily because when mom gets mad, or has a certain disdain for dad, it can manifest itself in the father being denied access to the child.
Indeed, such denials are not always direct. Plans to spend time with dad can be shelved because mom and baby (and mom’s family) have plans that ostensibly supersede dad’s time with the child. You may wonder how this is possible given that you are named on the birth certificate and you pay child support.
Unfortunately, the law may not be in your favor. Essentially, the law gives sole legal and physical custody of a child born out of wedlock to an unmarried mother. This basically means that mothers in these situations have the sole authority to determine who may see the child, when parenting time may take place (or visitation), and has the singular authority to make major decisions in the child’s life.
Despite these rights, and the tendency to be treated like you are not a real parent, you do have some recourse. By petitioning the court to have custody and parenting time rights established, the court can grant you the same (or similar) rights that the mother has. After all, it is generally in the child’s best interests to have both their parents in their life.
The preceding is not legal advice, as every situation is different. If you have questions about the process or the specific challenges you are facing, an experienced family law attorney can help.