Parents are responsible for raising, protecting and caring for their children, making them an indispensable part of their kids’ lives. Massachusetts understands how important this bond is, which is why they have created laws to help protect this relationship and step in when parents are unable to fulfil their roles as providers. Unfortunately, despite these laws, women are sometimes given an unfair advantage in family court because oftentimes the role of the father is seen as less important than the role of the mother.
Here’s what you should know about father’s rights in Massachusetts.
Establishing paternity is important for more than just having a name on a child’s birth certificate—it grants certain rights. When paternity is proven, and parents can’t come to an agreement on their own, a father could petition the court for custody and visitation of the child. Additionally, it sets up how child support, medical and life insurance benefits, and Social Security are all distributed.
Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody is always determined by the best interests of the child. Although it can be subjective, this standard means that any decisions made regarding child custody and visitation must be based solely on the needs of the child, and not the needs of the parents. Since Massachusetts state law does not outline a specific set of factors, a judge is allowed a good amount of discretion when making these decisions. Luckily, this law allows both parents to be on equal footing before they go to family court. Thus, a father can possibly win primary custody of the children, allowing them to live and be in the care of their dad.
Massachusetts child support is financial payments made from to help the custodial parent provide shelter, food, and clothing for the children. If one parent is granted primary custody, it is common for a judge to grant that parent child support from the non-custodial parent. If a father is named the children’s primary custodian, they have the same right to receive child support as mothers in the same situation.
As a father, it’s important to be aware of your parental rights before child custody and child support issues are resolved in court. At the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr., our Worcester divorce lawyers can fully explain your father’s rights to you and ensure these rights are respected and upheld during your court case.Call (508) 926-8833 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.