Unmarried fathers have always faced challenges regarding child custody disputes. In Ohio, unmarried fathers may have found that challenging the mother for visitation or custody can be difficult, and they may feel that there are not many legal options available. For these particularly difficult custody circumstances, it can be beneficial to know what fathers may face when fighting for their parental rights.
One of the main difficulties for unmarried fathers is the fact that they may not be established as the legal parent. When parents are married, they are automatically considered the parent and are listed on the birth certificate. When the parents are unmarried, the father has to endure a legal process to establish that he is, in fact, the biological father.
In many cases, the mother has the authority to determine how often the father can see the child if there is not a specific and legally binding custody arrangement. Dads have the option to fight for custody in court, but they have to prove parentage first. All of this can lead to expenses that many Ohio fathers simply cannot shoulder and a legal cycle that can be frustrating and overwhelming. However, there are still options and reasons to hope that unmarried fathers can win certain legal battles.
Unmarried fathers face unique challenges when fighting for custody or facing child support obligations. However, these individuals should remember that they have the right to challenge unfair arrangements, especially regarding their children. It can be daunting to face a family court system that seems prejudiced against unmarried fathers, but any father can fight for his dream of remaining an integral and influential role in the lives of his children.
Source: The New York Times, "What Unmarried Fathers Have to Worry About", Claire Huntington, June 13, 2014