What are the parental rights of a father? 22 Answers as of July 09, 2013

I would like to know what parental rights a father has when he has been gone the entire child's life of 9 years?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Until a court rules otherwise, both mother and father have equal rights. Now, the problem you face is that when you get to court after being absent for 9 years, the court can make orders to protect the child including restricting your rights and visitation. That said, as long as you show a willingness to be a father now, and make amends with your child, the Court should foster a relationship between you and your child, meaning there may be some "Step-in" visitation provisions, but eventually, you will get to spend time with your child on a regular basis if you want it. All of this assumes there is nothing too horrible in your past, such as the reason you were out of touch for nine years was due to incarceration for drug running or rape.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/30/2011
Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
You are still the father of the child unless the child has been adopted. The father would have been notified of any adoption unless you could not be found. If you get an order for visitation it would be limited until the child gets to know you. Right now you are a stranger to the child. Children need both a mother and a father. Go for it!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
He may try to re-enter the child's life on an incremental basis as long as it is in the child's best interests.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/25/2011
The Coyle Law Office
The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
Generally, this is a matter which would be determined by a judge who would take into account what is in the child's best interests. It is assumed that there is value to the child to have involvement from both parents but that can be overcome by a showing that such involvement would hurt or confuse the child.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/25/2011
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
You may always request reunification counseling and see if the child is open to a relationship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Probably relatively little. Technically, if there is a parenting plan in place, then, the father has whatever rights the parenting plan gives him. However, after being absent from the child's entire life, I imagine that an attempt to enforce those rights by the father would be met with a petition to modify the parenting plan by the mother. The court is then likely to fashion some temporary arrangement that would be in place until the case can be either settled or taken to trial. The trial court would then, ultimately, decide what the father actually ends up with. If there is no parenting plan, then, the father probably does not have much in the way of rights until there is some sort of parenting plan or court order in place.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Need more information. Were you two married and divorced? Is there a custody order from a court? Were you two not married when the child was born? If not, Was an affidavit of parentage ever signed by the both of you and filed with the County clerk's office? If not, was there ever a Paternity action filed with a court and an order entered declaring the man the biological father of the child?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/9/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I need to know what you are asking in order to answer your question. I do this kind of law, and I can assist you. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If there has been no determination by a Court that he has any rights then he does not.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    The father must petition the court for custody and visitation of the child. As a court generally deems it to be in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with both parents, the court will likely make orders for a gradual increase in parenting time for the father. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as criminal records of substance abuse issues, those visitations may need to be monitored.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Unless his/her rights have been terminated, a parent can always file a Complaint for Custody/Visitation until the child is 18.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, if a child is born out of wedlock, the father has no legal rights concerning the child until he obtains a Court Order stating that he is the Legitimate father of the child. If there has been a divorce, then the Father's rights will be set in the divorce decree/settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Simply stated, unless there is a court order allocating parental responsibilities between parents your question cannot be accurately answered. If you and the father are still married, you each have the same identical rights, but there isn't anything that details what they are. If you were married and divorced, the divorce order should be the starting point for an answer to your question. If you were never married to the father, and there was never a paternity case giving him some specific rights, he has no rights other than the right to go to court and have those rights defined. If he hasn't been involved for nine years, it is unlikely he will want to be now unless you begin legal action to require him to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    You have equal rights to the mother, but they need to be properly established. If they have not been established by a judge or a hearing officer, then you should file a Paternity action to establish your rights so that they can be enforced. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Assuming there is no parenting plan in place, a father's rights are the same as the mother's.If you real question is what will a court order as a parenting plan in Washington.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    There is not enough information to answer this question. Most likely there will be very little, if any rights to the child, but you need to have a detailed consultation with an attorney regarding your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It depends. Has a complaint for custody/visitation been filed? Is he on the birth certificate? If the father's absence for 9 years was voluntary, then his rights would most likely be very limited. However, you should consult with a family law attorney in much more detail before making any assumptions.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The father has rights, but the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child (integration, abandonment, etc.)
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/25/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    In Georgia, unless the father has filed to legitimate the child, he has no parental rights (but must pay support).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Assuming from your question that you were never married to the mom, none, until you file a Paternity action in court and establish your paternal rights. If you are still with mom, you can still do this and hopefully do it amicably.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/24/2011
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