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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  Attorney
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Does a child's biological father have any rights after

Customer Question

Does a child's biological father have any rights after twelve years of the child's life. He was aware of the birth of the child but choose to stay out of the child's life. My current husband has raised the child since he was one year old as his own. My son is unaware of these things
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
Was paternity ever established?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Paternity was never established. He knew about the child since I was pregnant. It was never a doubt that he was the father from both parties. He still choose to not have any involvement. My son does not know he even exists. My current husband as raised my son as his own since my son was one year old.
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your message.
If paternity hasn't been established, a man has no rights to a child. Likewise, he has no responsibilities. Therefore, while he could potentially file a paternity action to establish paternity, until he does, he would not have any claim because he is legally a stranger to the child. After that, once paternity is established, the court would address issues of custody according to the child's best interests. When a parent has been absent for a long time, the child's best interests generally dictate that the child remains with the parent who has cared for the child, while the other parent will receive some degree of visitation (unless he is unfit).
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does he get visitation even if the child does not want any
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Again, until paternity is established, a man isn't entitled to any visitation. After that, he'd still have to petition the court to establish visitation.
A court may consider a child's preferences, but the court awards visitation based on what's good for the child. Unless a parent is unfit, some degree of visitation is often going to be awarded.