Fathers have just as many rights as mothers during the divorce and child custody processes.
Learn how to pursue custody and visitation of your child in the state of Utah.
Know Your Legal Rights as a Father
When a married woman gives birth in the state of Utah, her husband is automatically assumed to be the child’s father. Typically, both mother and father will then sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) at the hospital where the child is born. Then, regardless of the status of the marriage from that point forward, the husband becomes not only the biological father, but the legal father as well. This means he has all the legal rights and responsibilities of fatherhood.
If an unmarried woman gives birth, the biological father of that child can decide to sign a VDP to claim legal recognition of the child.
Navigating the Child Custody Process as a Father
If your marriage ends up deteriorating (or you were never married in the first place), and you find yourself navigating the child custody process, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
According to House Bill 88, Utah child custody laws state that the court:
“may not discriminate against a parent due to gender, race, color, national origin, religious preference, or age, but shall consider the best interests of the child.”
While this law explicitly states that fathers may not be discriminated against during court proceedings simply for their gender, it’s important to remember that it can still be hard to express yourself or prove your child’s best interests during this process. As such, it can be difficult to prove your right to sole or joint custody without the help of an experienced family law attorney.
At Pearson Butler, our team can help you:
- Highlight your past participation in your child’s life,
- Detail your availability and the flexibility of your schedule, and
- Demonstrate your overall dedication to your child’s well-being.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in family law matters, and we want to help you reach a resolution that’s in the best interest of you and your child.
Contact us today at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a confidential consultation.