Have you ever wondered what “Father’s Rights” law firms can do for you that other family law firms cannot?  Well, it’s an interesting question, because under the law, both fathers and mothers have the exact same parental rights.  In California, there is no legal presumption favoring one parent over the other.  This misconception, that custody is more likely to go to the mother, has perhaps led to a failure of fathers to actively pursue their custodial rights.

In California, the court examines the best interests of the child in determining what the custodial arrangements should be.  There are no laws or cases that favor one parent over the other based on their gender.  Father’s rights, then, in the context of California law, really encompasses the father’s exercise of parental custody in applying the best interests of the child standard. There is no bias against fathers in custody or support matters.  Child support is not paid by the father simply by virtue of being a father.  Child support is computed based primarily on both parties’ income and the amount of time spent with the child(ren).  If the parents spend equal time with the child, but the father makes more money, then support may still be payable from the father to the mother.  Likewise, if the timeshare is equal and the mother makes more money, then support may be payable from the mother to the father.  Father’s rights, in this context, would refer to the correct application of the child support guidelines to ensure that the supporting parent is providing the correct amount of support for the minor child.  There is not automatic entitlement for a mother (or a father) to receive support simply because of their gender.

What do you need to do to protect your rights as a father?

Consult with an attorney regarding father’s rights.  A family law attorney can help guide you through the court process, file motions for custody or support orders, and establish paternity.  One of the main advantages of having a family law attorney is that they are knowledgeable on what information is most critical for the court to receive, and the best way for that information to be conveyed to the court.  Arguing that one parent “deserves” more time, or that you think the other parent is a “bad” parent are tactics often resorted to by people representing themselves in court.  It is important that you have an attorney assist you to make the proper legal arguments that the court can entertain when deciding custody, visitation, and child support.