Do Not Underestimate Your Rights As a Father
Fathers undergoing a divorce or breakup often believe that they have few rights in relation to custody or visitation. While that may have been true in the past, changes to Tennessee laws have given fathers equitable rights during the child custody or child support determination process.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jones, our staff supports fathers throughout the Memphis area. With more than 35 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skill needed to help you ensure that your rights are considered during your legal proceedings.
What Are a Father’s Parental Rights in Tennessee?
Tennessee law provides fathers with several rights, including:
- Custody: Fathers have the right to pursue joint, shared or full custody of their child, so long as the father is a capable and viable parent.
- Visitation: Rather than the old standard of weekend parenting time, fathers have the right to demand equal parenting time.
- Fair child support: In years past, child support orders were determined based solely on the income of the father. Today, fathers have the right to request that the mother’s income be factored into the child support determination.
Do Unmarried Fathers Have the Same Rights?
Historically, unmarried fathers in Tennessee have been afforded fewer rights than married fathers. However, recent challenges to the laws have led to increased rights for unmarried fathers. For an unmarried father to exercise his rights to visitation or decision-making, paternity of the child must be established through DNA test.
Once paternity is established, fathers may pursue shared parenting rights with their children.
Is It Possible for a Father to Win Full Custody?
In the majority of cases, family law judges prefer to give each parent the opportunity to play a role in his or her child’s life. This means that many judges mandate parents to work together to attempt to create a joint custody agreement that works for both parents and provides the child with a safe and healthy home.
There are, however, certain situations in which it may be possible for one parent, including the father, to obtain full custody:
- A history of physical or mental abuse
- A history of neglect
- Drug or alcohol use
- Mental illness
- Physical illness
If any of these factors apply to the mother of your child, you may have the option to pursue full custody of your child.
Call Our Office and Discuss Your Rights As a Father With Our Memphis Family Lawyer
Understanding your legal rights when you have been denied access to your children can be difficult. At The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jones, we provide the detailed and personalized advice you need to understand your rights, and to pursue a swift and favorable resolution to your situation.