Father's Rights Attorney - Family Law


Many parents have begun to examine fathers’ rights in child-rearing and family planning. Fathers’ rights can include a father’s right to parenting time with his children, the right to be consulted before adoption, and the right to time off from work to raise his child. If you signed your child’s birth certificate, you acknowledged that you are the biological father, which also makes you legally responsible for the child. Legal responsibility makes you responsible for the financial support of the child, but not necessarily for physically caring for the child if you are not married to the mother.


It will be much easier for you to obtain joint custody when you clearly demonstrate your commitment to custody. Demonstrating that commitment is best done before any ruling on custody and visitation issues are handed down. In determining custody and visitation, Virginia courts are directed by law to give primary consideration to the child’s best interests, and the specific factors a court should consider in making this determination are set forth in Virginia Code ยง 20-124.3. We can advise you on steps you can take right away. If a child suddenly does not want to visit or have any contact with you, the child may be under the influence of the other parent in a situation called parental alienation. If you believe that could be the case, you need to talk to us right away.


When a relationship ends and family members separate, there exists a plenty of undue hardship and emotional upheaval. Complex issues regarding child custody, pre and postnuptial agreements, child support, fathers’ rights, equitable distribution, orders of protection, grandparents’ rights, and separation agreements require the assistance of a qualified family and matrimonial law attorney.


All fathers have the right to spend time with their children as long as the court has not determined that spending time with the father would not be in the best interests of the children. If the parents are not married, a father may spend time with his children according to a child custody or visitation schedule that has been approved by a judge.


One of the most important factors, which determines whether or not joint custody will be granted by a family court, is the degree to which the parents are able to work together in the perceived interests of the children. To this end, a father who wishes to establish or maintain a regular presence in his children’s lives often finds the task much easier to accomplish by reaching out to the children’s mother and building a trusting coparent relationship.


Unmarried fathers have paternity rights that include the right to visitation, shared custody, and making decisions about the child’s welfare. If you are unmarried and believe you may have fathered a child, do register with the Putative Father Registry. Failing to register will generally waive your right to be notified of adoption or termination proceedings unless your paternity is established or presumed under Virginia law or you were fraudulently misled by the mother under certain circumstances. They also have the right to establish a substantial relationship with their children and be actively involved in their upbringing. The Child Welfare Information Gateway states that pecific rights of unmarried fathers vary between states.