What parental rights does the biological father have? 22 Answers as of April 24, 2011

I want to know what rights of the biological father of my daughter has although he has never been involved and my husband is on the birth certificate. We were married when she was conceived and born. The biological father has now decided after almost 6 years that he wants to see her.

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Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The biological father may commence a paternity action and, if paternity is determined, he may seek parenting time and joint legal custody.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/24/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
Generally speaking, biological parents who are not involved in their children's lives have the same parental rights as the residential parent. He will have to petition the court and may win some visitation, but if he has truly been absent for six years, it will be limited parenting time and may be supervised at first. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as he poses a threat to the children, a judge may grant a request for parenting time.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/24/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
In California there is a conclusive presumption that the husband of a married woman is the father of the child. The biological father does not have any rights. He may petition the court to establish paternity, however, you and your husband will be able to establish that your husband is the natural father of your child on the basis of this presumption.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2011
Arnold & Wadsworth
Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
Is there a paternity order in place. Further, has he paid child support all these years. You need to get some kind of court orders in place in order to protect your child and you. We offer free consultations. Feel free to give us a call.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 4/22/2011
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
The biological father is to late IF LITIGATED PROPERLY. This is a VERY technical area of law, and if you are truly concerned about keeping him out of the life of your daughter you better retain competent legal counsel as you will only have "one shot" to knock him out. If you blow the trial you live with the consequences.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/21/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If the child was conceived and born during your current marriage, your husband is legally presumed to be the child's ONLY legal father until such time as a court rejects that presumption and accepts evidence (i.e. DNA testing) sufficient to overcome the legal presumption. You don't say why your or the other man believes he is the biological father, but until he can prove it to the satisfaction of a court, his ONLY legal right is to go to court and try to get some rights. Until he does that, you are legally free to consider him no different than an stranger on the street.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    There is a legal presumption that the spouse is the father. That presumption could be rebutted however, if you were to divorce your husband and the natural father were to intervene, or you were to decide that the husband should not be involved anymore, in which case you could subpoena the natural father to be DNA tested, so the court would have another father to substitute for the husband. The natural father would then have rights and obligations. The courts are loathe to get rid of a parent altogether, so you would need the natural father if you were trying to get rid of the husband entirely. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Law Office of Martin Blank
    Law Office of Martin Blank | Martin E. Blank
    He has a right to ask the court for custody and parenting time. The judge would make a decision based upon all of the facts presented.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I am sure that this action by your daughter's biological father has caused you and your husband a great deal of pain and concern. How to proceed will depend on a couple of things, and we will need to discuss it in detail.

    You need to know what the law says, and you need to be sure that your girl will not be subjected to any crazy pulling and pushing by the biological father. You do not want him to just swing by and pick her up after first grade one day, leaving you in a panic and your girl in who-knows-what situation.

    I strongly suggest that you not sign any document, do not write any letter or email to the biological until you talk to an attorney who handles family law issues as a large part of his/her law practice and really knows what he/she is doing. If you are in New Jersey, I can help you with this. 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: 4/22/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    The biological father has no right to visitation at this juncture and would need to obtain a court order to establish visitation. If he has had no contact with the minor child in 6 years, nor has he paid child support, etc., and he was aware of this child's existence all along, you may want to consider seeking a step parent adoption and seek a termination of the biological dad's parental rights to resolve the issue.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    He has a tough road (no rights until he gets a court Order granting him rights). Your husband is the "presumed" father and has more rights than the bio father does at the present moment, but things can change in a court of law. If the bio dad files a motion, get yourself a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you don't allow any visitation, then biological dad will need to file a motion with the court asking for a certain visitation schedule. Visitation, if any, will be determined based on the child's "best interests." That is a legal term of art that takes into consideration many facts not stated in your question.
    In my experience, when biological dads come out of the woodwork years later now wanting to play father, courts are leery of such motives and thus are very careful when granting visitation. If any visitation is granted, you can have certain safeguards put into place (as long as you hire an experienced lawyer that knows what type of orders to request) and limit visitations to either supervised at first, or only minimal visitation.
    In short, there is much that goes into the analysis. Call a family law lawyer that is local to you. one that has a lot of experience with these types of custody matters to develop a plan of action based on the particular facts in your case. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    From what you describe he does not have any rights at the current time and he would have to commence a paternity action since under the law a child born during a marriage is presumed to be a child of the married parties. If you have any other questions let us know.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    The bio dad may have rights based on the info you have provided. Do nothing and make him take you to court, then hire a good family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Generally, the biological father will be given the opportunity to establish a relationship with the child, but it will be very limited at first (perhaps supervised visitation). If there is a reason to deny visitation, however, the court will consider it. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Minimal parental rights.

    Call me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts, when a child is born in wedlock and the biological father is not the husband, he has 60 days from the birth of the child to file a complaint in equity to establish paternity. Otherwise, the child is deemed to be of the marriage. The mother's husband is considered the biological father. 6 years is well beyond the statutory limit to contest paternity if the child was born in wedlock.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/21/2011
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