Many couples have children without getting married. Unfortunately, dads in these situations may lose their rights if their romance with the mother falls apart.
Family courts in Arizona recognize that children need both parents to thrive. They no longer automatically give custody to mothers. Unmarried fathers have a good chance of winning custody battles, or at the very least, obtaining substantial visitation rights.
What can put a father’s rights at risk?
There are things you can do to protect your rights as a dad. For example, always make sure to establish your paternity even if you are still in an unmarried relationship with your child’s mom. However, knowing what not to do is just as vital when fighting for your rights as a father. Here are four examples of what not to do:
- Do not stop striving to spend time with your kids, even if your co-parent protests.
- Do not talk badly about your co-parent in any situation, even if your kids are not present.
- Do not stop attempting to communicate about the kids with your co-parent even if she tries to avoid your calls or other communication efforts.
- Do not stop supporting your children, even if their mother sends your checks or money orders back uncashed.
The points listed above are critical because they can show a family court judge that you are doing all you can to remain a part of your kids’ lives. Courts will take your involvement in to account when making decisions about child custody and support.
Please visit our paternity web page for more information about the rights of unmarried parents in Arizona.