Child Custody Rights for Fathers By Robert L. Froerer on April 29, 2023

Father and childUnwed fathers or fathers going through a divorce often worry that their relationship with their children will be compromised. While it may be true that, in the past, the court system favored mothers in issues of custody and visitation, that is no longer the case. The state of Utah recognizes a father’s paternal rights.

Although a father has legal rights, he may have to fight for custody or visitation, depending on the circumstances of his situation. The child custody lawyers at Froerer & Miles, which serves the Ogden, UT, and Layton, UT, areas, explain the child custody rights of fathers and discuss how to settle custody disputes in the best interest of the child.

Establishing Paternity

Before a father can assert their legal rights regarding custody and visitation, they have to establish paternity. In Utah, when a child is born to a married couple, the child is automatically assumed to be the offspring of the husband and wife. At birth, the mother and father sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP). The VDP establishes and protects both parents as biological and legal guardians of the child. These rights are upheld regardless of the state of the marriage.

When parents are unwed at the time of a child’s birth, paternity is not assumed. The child’s father must come forward with a VDP to establish paternity and assert their legal rights as a guardian. If the mother refuses to voluntarily sign a VDP, a DNA test may be required to confirm paternity claims.

Custody and Visitation Rights

A man who is recognized as a child’s legal guardian assumes all the legal rights and responsibilities of fatherhood. In Utah, a child’s legal father has the right to pursue custody and visitation of the child and to make decisions regarding the care and upbringing of the child. A father’s legal rights are protected whether or not they are married to the child’s mother.

How to Settle Child Custody Disputes

A father has a legal right to custody and visitation, but they may have to fight for those rights. Child custody disputes are not uncommon, especially during a divorce. The Utah Department of Human Services has a department called the Office of Recovery Services that handles paternity issues and enforces child support. However, the office does not settle child custody disputes. A court hearing is the only way to settle disputes involving child custody or visitation.

The child custody lawyers at Froerer & Miles work with fathers in the Ogden area to fight for fair custody and visitation. Our lawyers gather evidence to demonstrate that a father has previously been involved in their child’s life, is dedicated to the child’s well-being, and that an ongoing relationship with the father is in the child’s best interest.

Contact Us

If you are going through a divorce or are fighting to establish your paternal rights regarding custody and visitation, the child custody lawyers at Froerer & Miles can provide invaluable assistance. To schedule a legal consultation with our child custody lawyers, contact our law firm online or call (801) 621-2690 at your earliest convenience.

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Froerer & Miles

The attorneys at Froerer & Miles have successfully represented clients in a wide range of practice areas since 1959. Our team of attorneys can protect your best interests in matters related to:

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We offer free consultations and provide honest feedback to potential clients regarding their cases. To request your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (801) 621-2690.

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