Fathers and paternity cases

The Most Significant Mistakes Made by Fathers in Paternity Cases

When a couple divorces or breaks up their relationship, one of the most challenging parts they deal with is how to split time with their kids. What makes paternity cases more difficult is the assumption that the court will automatically side with the mother when it comes to having the primary custody. 

As times changes, more fathers are proving a better option of having physical custody of their child, but during custody cases, fathers usually make some significant mistakes. So, what are the biggest mistakes that dads are making that causes them to lose physical custody of their kids?

Not Acting First

One of the biggest mistakes is not being the first one to file for a hearing. Most fathers do not understand the significance of having the court declare them the legal father of their kid. There are lots of benefits to being the first to take action and most times it uses to have positive legal results. 

Waiting for the mother to file often leads to dislike and increased feelings of frustration which are not usually helpful during court proceedings. Some of the other issues delay in being the first to establish paternity as a father can cause include child support arrearages and reduced chance of primary or joint custody.

Not Spending Time With Their Children

The family courts will always choose the parent that can have consistency in a child’s life. So if a father does not a court order that solidifies his rights, the mother has total control over the decision-making process. 

A father who does not seem to spend enough time with his child is not looked upon fondly in the family court. There is a higher risk that the court can go for the status quo, meaning the father will only receive minimal visitation he gets before going to the court. 

Failure To Pay For Child Support As At When Due

The court often calculates the non-custodial parent’s child support records when establishing paternity. It is essential you make all required payments in a timely fashion. If as a father, you paid nothing or underpaid, you will own both the arrears you have accrued and ongoing child support. Most of the courts take the failure to pay child support seriously, and it could have a negative implication against the father even in cases where the mother is withholding the child wrongfully. 

Acting Indifferent 

When a father waits for a long time to pursue his legal right, the family court sees it as an indication that he is not interested in having custody of his child. Depending on the situation, when a father isn’t living with his kid, it is better to show interest and initiate court proceedings to address child support, visitation, custody, and decision making. 

Revised: June 28, 2018, 9:43 a.m.
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