Paternal Rights

Paternal Rights

Traditionally, the law strongly favored the mother during custody proceedings. Today, courts recognize that both the mother and the father play an integral role in a child’s upbringing. Still, a father may have to prove that he’s the child’s father and that paternal custody would be in the child’s best interests. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Alexander H. Schwartz can help. We have more than 30 years of experience handling divorce proceedings in Connecticut.

What Rights Do Fathers Have in Custody Proceedings?

Connecticut law requires that custody be decided on the child’s best interests. A father is likely to be awarded if he can show that he has a close relationship with the child, sufficient finances to care for the child, and the capacity to meet the child’s other needs.

There are different types of custody. For example, a father may be awarded joint custody with the mother and only be given visitation rights during weekends and summer vacations. Alternatively, a court may award the father primary physical custody of his child. Per Connecticut law, the court will attempt to ensure that the child is given consistent contact with both parents. If the father is awarded custodial rights, he will also be given access to the child’s medical and educational records.

A father has the right to be heard in court and the right to receive mediation to try to settle any disagreements that he has with the mother about the child. During the proceedings, the court will grant either the mother, the father, or both parents the right to make decisions pertaining to the child’s education, health care, and religion.

Finally, a father also has the right to modify the divorce, including changes in child custody or child support orders. This may become necessary if his circumstances change. For example, if the father gets laid off, loses his job, or wants to move out of state to pursue an employment opportunity, he should seek legal counsel to have the divorce decree modified. A father should also need to speak to an attorney if the mother refuses to honor the visitation schedule.

Your Child’s Custody

If you’re planning to seek custody or visitation rights, or if you’re paying child support and have been denied visitation or refused communication, call our Connecticut office today. Whether you need an advocate during a divorce, a custody or visitation dispute, a paternity action, or child support issues, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Alexander H. Schwartz will make sure that your rights as a father are enforced.

In addition to extensive knowledge of family law, our firm has more than 30 years of trial experience in both state and federal courts across the country. We offer our clients accommodating appointment availability, affordable representation, and flexible payment plans. And unlike firms that hand clients over to case managers or paralegals, we provide you with personal attention and the opportunity to work directly with the primary attorney on your case. If you need a family law attorney, contact our Southport, Connecticut, office today for a free consultation.


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I had Alex in a very messy divorce. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but he explained to me why I couldn’t have it all. He explained every decision I had to make so when it was over I understood how I got where I am. His fees were lots less than many of my friends paid for their divorces and I’m really happy with how quickly he answered emails and text messages.


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