Father’s Rights Under California Law

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Father's Rights attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsA father must first determine whether he is biological father of minor child if he is not married to the mother of the child. If it is conclusively proved that he is the biological father, he gets certain rights when it comes to the minor child. Almost under every circumstance, if a father has been declared legal father of the minor child, then the father’s name will be inked on the birth certificate of that child. This may occur even if the mother was already married to another person at conception or birth. The surname of the father, in addition, will be inserted in the certificate of birth as the surname of the child. A biological father, even if he is unmarried, has complete right to get custody of minor child. He also has equal rights as married fathers. The unmarried biological father can get a hearing so that the court can determine his fitness when it comes to the custody issue.

Authority as father

Once a father gets confirmed as the biological father of a child by a law court, then he becomes natural guardian of minor child. It may be, as under a few circumstances, he could have all authority to obtain legal action on the behalf of his minor child.

If it is seen that the minor child’s father has no wish to contest the custody of minor child, he will continue to enjoy other rights when it comes to that minor child. For example, the father continues to have custodial rights regarding the minor child. Circumstances in specific cases vary and will determine whether the father will have complete visitation rights or whether the court will restrict the visitation. In a few cases, it may be important for the father to develop relationship with minor child prior to have an unsupervised visitation. Another concerning factor is the minor child’s age and the experience of the father in the rearing of the child.

Parental responsibility

The biological father also enjoys right to have a shared parental responsibility when it comes to concerning minor child. It is important for the child’s mother to consult and then discuss the number of issues that concern their minor child, like religion, vacations, illnesses and doctors among others. A father has the right of information about the minor child’s activities and also the right to participate in such activities.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation