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Fathers' Rights

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in North Carolina and South Carolina

Although NC and SC state laws recognize that mothers and fathers have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to their children, the rights of some fathers are jeopardized during child custody or child support proceedings. Many fathers who go through a custody or child support hearing become victims of an unconscious bias in favor of mothers. Fortunately, the Collins Family & Elder Law Group fathers’ rights lawyers in NC and SC are there to protect fathers’ rights to the fullest extent.

What Happens When Parents Can’t Agree on Custody Matters?

Most fathers want what’s best for their child. Unfortunately, fathers and mothers do not always agree about what’s best for their children. In these cases, the court has to step in and make decisions in the child’s best interests. If you and the mother of your child can’t agree on child custody, either parent can file a custody action asking the court to make the decision. Once the court case begins, you will participate in mandatory mediation and, with the assistance of a mediator, attempt to reach an agreement. If there is still no agreement after mediation, the judge will hear the evidence related to the best interest of the child and make a final decree.

While most courts recognize that children benefit from spending time with both parents, many fathers feel that they are treated differently during litigation than mothers. Fathers have inherent parental rights that are equal to those of the mother’s rights, and child custody lawyers for fathers can help ensure your position is heard and your rights are honored.

Fathers’ Rights Under North Carolina/South Carolina and Federal Law

The Tender Years Doctrine, which stated that the mother is usually more fit to care for a child during the formative years, was abandoned years ago. NC and SC laws now grant fathers the same rights to their children as they grant to mothers unless those rights are given up voluntarily, and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution ensures equal custody rights for parents. These rights include:

  • Financial health
  • Physical health
  • Emotional, spiritual, and psychological health
  • Educational decisions
  • Legal decisions
  • Child custody and visitation

Today, a father’s rights to his children are not contingent upon marriage to the child’s mother. Genetic paternity alone entitles fathers to parental custody and visitation rights. Contrary to popular belief, visitation rights cannot be terminated by the mother simply because the father can no longer pay the full amount of child support. The discontinuation of visitation on grounds of child support is a direct violation of a father’s rights. 

In some cases, mothers may even make false allegations of spousal abuse to prevent the court from making a ruling in favor of the father. If you have been wrongfully denied rights to your children in this manner or another, our child custody lawyers for fathers can help you file a motion to modify your current child support agreement.

How Can Fathers Assert Their Custodial Rights?

As a father, you have the right to be a part of your child’s life and to participate in decision making. Our fathers’ rights attorneys in NC and SC will work hard to represent you and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your particular case.

There are several ways to legally establish and assert your rights to your children. You can pursue a separation agreement, a parenting agreement, or a court mandate. We always recommend a parenting agreement. These tend to be the least contentious and ensure that you and your ex-spouse stay on good terms with one another; they give you more say in matters of visitation and custody and prevent the need to defer to the court’s judgment. As a result, you save money and resources and protect your child from the crossfire of separation agreements and court mandates.

Why the Father’s Role is Critical in a Child’s Life

A majority of family therapists say that children are better off when both parents are active in their child’s life. When the father is actively involved, a child can be likely to be more confident and emotionally secure, and able to better adjust to new situations. The US Department of Education has even conducted studies proving that children who grew up with strong father figures were more likely to get higher grades and be successful in school.

Assert Your Fathers’ Rights in North or South Carolina With a Trusted Family Lawyer

The custody litigation process can be overwhelming and discouraging at times, but talking to a knowledgeable, compassionate lawyer makes it so much easier to navigate. We take the time to learn about your unique circumstances and desired outcome, so that we can provide the best possible legal guidance.

If you are a father involved in a child custody dispute in North Carolina or South Carolina, a fathers’ rights attorney from Collins Family & Elder Law Group can help. We have decades of experience guiding fathers through this difficult process. You deserve to know your rights and understand all of the legal options available to help you fight for your family. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matters with our attentive team.

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