Having a child is a massive responsibility. People assume parental rights regardless of whether they have children in or outside marriage. At the same time, parental rights remain even when couples divorce.
While most parents treasure their parental rights and get excited every time they get an opportunity to spend time with their kids, others choose to terminate their parental rights voluntarily or simply disappear from their child’s life.
But parental rights go beyond spending time with your children, as being a parent also means making decisions regarding your kids’ education, healthcare, religious beliefs, upbringing, and many more.
The allocation of parental rights is at the core of child custody decisions. Following a divorce, a California court will determine the role of each divorced parent in their child’s life as well as how much parenting time each parent gets.
Here at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, our Thousands Oaks parental rights attorney can help you understand your rights, responsibilities, and duties as a parent before, during, and after your divorce.
In essence, parental rights refer to a parent’s legal ability to make decisions for their children and on behalf of their children. Biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, and legal guardians assume parental rights automatically.
Establishing and splitting parental rights becomes a little more complicated when parents file for divorce. The same can be said about situations when one of the parents turns out to be a non-biological parent.
Establishing parental rights is critical in a number of legal processes after getting divorced. Specifically, proving that you are the biological parent or legal parent will make a difference in child custody, parental time, visitation, and child support decisions.
By establishing parental rights, you also ensure that your children will benefit from your health insurance, inheritance rights, and social security, among other benefits.
In California, the most straightforward way for a biological father to establish paternity is to be named on the child’s birth certificate. Typically, all unmarried parents in the state of California have the opportunity to establish parental rights upon childbirth.
If the father refused to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity or was not present at the hospital during childbirth, it would be difficult to get the unwed father’s name on the child’s birth certificate.
However, establishing paternity is still possible if unmarried parents seek help from a Thousand Oaks parental rights attorney who would help them sign the declaration of paternity at a later date.
If the parents break up before the biological father gets the chance to sign the declaration of paternity, the biological mother may need to start legal action to confirm that the man in question is indeed the child’s father.
In California, a person who is not related to a child can assume parental rights either through adoption or when one of the biological parents marries a non-biological parent.
In these situations, the non-biological parent can obtain full legal and physical custody. When this happens, non-biological parents who assumed parents rights have the same rights as biological parents.
In certain cases, non-biological parents can have more parental rights than the biological parent if the latter is deemed incapable of fulfilling his or her duties and responsibilities as a parent.
Let our Thousand Oaks parental rights attorney help you work out an agreement without getting the court involved as well as advise you on your options when assuming legal and physical custody. Speak to our family law attorneys at Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi to receive a free consultation. Call at 805-379-4550 or fill out this contact form.