Not only is it best for children to spend as much time as possible with both parents, but it’s also — in most cases — the legal right of both parents to spend time with their children. This issue is important when considering the rights of an unmarried father, who may find that his ex is trying to prevent him from spending time with his child.
In the state of Tennessee, family law courts know how vital it is for children to grow up spending time with their fathers. However, in order to receive the court’s support, unmarried fathers will first need to prove paternity. This can be done by getting the mother’s agreement to acknowledge paternity, or by filing an action to establish paternity by way of a DNA test.
After establishing paternity, a father can seek child visitation rights and other kinds of custody rights. It may be necessary to file a child custody or visitation action, but once paternity has been established, the two parents may also be able to negotiate an appropriate visitation schedule that they agree to out of court. If the parents can’t agree out of court, then the father can petition the court to issue a visitation or some other kind of custody order that the mother must adhere to.
If you’re an unwed father, there is still hope for you to spend time with your children. By fully understanding your legal rights as a father, and the legal strategies available to help you assert those rights, you may be able to secure the child visitation and/or child custody you desire.
Source: The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky, “Fathers' Rights,” accessed Jan. 12, 2018