Being a father in Saratoga County may appear disadvantageous in the event that you and the child’s mother are not married, or are seeking a divorce; many fathers assume that they have fewer rights than do mothers. However, the truth is that in the eyes of the law, mothers and fathers are treated equally when making decisions about legal and physical custody of a child. If you are a father and have questions about fathers’ rights and how your rights may affect your relationship with your child, contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation.
You Have the Right to Seek Physical and Legal Custody with Your Child as a Father
As a father in Saratoga County, it is critical that you know that if you are separated from your child’s mother you have the right to seek physical or legal custody of your child (this is assuming that you have established paternity; if you have not, establishing paternity is the very first step you should take).
Your right to seek physical and legal custody of your child is protected by the “best interests of the child” standard. This standard mandates that when an issue of physical or legal custody is being determined, the child’s best interests must be protected. The child’s best interests are deduced based on a number of factors, including:
- Which parent has served as the primary caregiver up to this point;
- The parenting skills of each parent;
- The child’s existing relationship with any siblings or other family members that they live with, or might potentially live with;
- The mental and physical health of each parent;
- Each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other and foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; and
- In some cases, the preferences of the child.
There is no presumption that the child living with the mother is in the child’s best interests.