A lot of fathers underestimate the value they have in a child’s life. Sometimes these thoughts are spurred by toxicity spewed by the child’s mother, which is sometimes even buttressed by the child’s own statements and behaviors when parental alienation occurs. In other instances, men simply don’t know what they need to do to be an active father and protect their father’s rights.
But we’re here to tell you that you have a significant amount of value in your child’s life, and there are steps that you can take to protect your access to and time with your child.
The impact of an active father
If you take an active role in your child’s life, then you can have a significantly positive impact on them. This includes having each of the following impacts on them:
- Reducing the chances that your child will engage in risky behavior
- Increasing your child’s academic performance
- Minimizing the risk that your child will develop psychological problems
- Increasing the likelihood that your child will develop healthy relationships as they grow older
- Improving your child’s chances of obtaining a higher paying job when they age into adulthood
There are many other ways that you can positively influence your child, but your ability to do so will depend on your access to and involvement with your them. This means that you’ll have to know how to secure your father’s rights and act on them.
How do you secure your rights as a father?
It all starts with establishing paternity. If your child was born out of wedlock, then this will mean either signing a paternity affidavit or obtaining a paternity decree through court. The latter option will likely require the submission of a DNA test showing that you’re the child’s father.
If, on the other hand, the child was born during your marriage to the child’s mother, or shortly after that marriage ended, then there’s a presumption that you’re the child’s biological father. As such, you already have father’s rights. You simply need to act on them.
Once paternity has been addressed, then you can focus on securing time with your child. This will probably require you to file a motion with the court seeking either visitation or custody. Remember, when you pursue this motion, your goal is to demonstrate that your request supports the child’s best interest. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared to show how your contact with your child will benefit them.
Although you’d hope that your child’s mother would support your contact with the child, she very well might not. Therefore, you’ll want to anticipate her arguments so that you can effectively counter them. If you have a problematic history, such as an arrest, domestic disputes, or substance abuse issues, then you’ll need to find ways to minimize any showing of its impact on your child. You can do this by focusing on changes that you’ve made to your life and how you plan to maintain them.
As you prepare to argue your motion, you should anticipate that your child’s mother will lie. So, make sure you have strong evidence on your side to counter her arguments and prove how you can play an important role in your child’s life.
Now is the time to act to protect your father’s rights
Although it can take a lot of work, securing a relationship with your child is well worth the effort. But this isn’t something that you can simply walk into without a plan. That’s why now is the time to start developing your strategy so that you can walk into your case confident that you’re ready to fight for an outcome that’s fair and right for your child.