There are two primary circumstances in which the paternity of an alleged father becomes critical in Tennessee family law. First, a mother might need to prove paternity to force the father of her children to contribute child support. Second, a father might need to prove paternity in order to gain parental, custody or visitation rights relating to his children.
The life of a single parent is not always convenient, and it's especially inconvenient when the parents live a long distance away from one another. However, Tennessee courts allow for long-distance parenting plans that ensure children have a chance to spend time with both parents, even if they live a long way away from one another.
Many years ago, when two parents got divorced, Tennessee fathers invariably got the short end of the stick. In the vast majority of cases, the mother would receive full custody of the children. As such, the children would live with the mother full-time and the father would only receive visitation rights. Sometimes, those visitations were few and far between. Perhaps a father would only get to see his kids for a little while during the summer, every other weekend or just a couple times a month.
In the past, unmarried fathers were very much out of luck when it came to establishing paternity. Before the advent of blood testing and DNA testing, there was very little one could do to prove -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that a particular man was the father of a particular child. However, these days, the process of proving and establishing paternity has become fairly routine.
Whether they were married to the mother of their children or not, every single father who participates in his children's lives has his own way of spending time with them. Questions about how fathers spend time with their children, however, definitely makes one wonder what's common and typical in this department. This article will take a look at what the statistics say about single dads and how they interact with their children.
Millions of babies are born every year to unwed parents throughout the world. In a lot of situations, the mother is left to care for the baby on her own, and the father is nowhere to be found. However, many Tennessee fathers want to play a role in their child's upbringing, even have custody of the child, but the mother tries to prevent them from being involved in their children's lives.
When looking at the history of family law, it is clear that the law interfered with marriage as little as possible. Generally, unmarried fathers had little -- if any -- parental rights regarding their children. As such, legislatures and courts would de-facto award paternity rights to the husbands of the child's mother, even if the man was not the biological father. Two men fighting over paternity rights would almost always result in the married man's victory.
Fathers of children are treated differently by the courts depending on if they are married or unmarried to the mothers of their children. If married, paternity rights are assumed, and the man will automatically be considered the father. If unmarried, extra steps need to be taken in order to establish paternity rights. This is advisable because unmarried fathers could have a more difficult time establishing their paternity if the relationship with the mother ends – especially if the mother tries to contest those rights or successfully claims that the boyfriend never participated in the child's life as a father.
There is an idea that continues to persist regarding child custody that sounds something like this: Children belong with the mother and mothers should receive full custody of their children. This is an archaic idea from another time. These days, Tennessee courts are largely interested in providing dual custody to both parents so that children spend equal time with both the mother and the father.
Unfortunately, many unmarried fathers do not understand how important it is to establish paternity. Failing to do so can result in the total loss of parental rights. This means your child can be adopted right out from under you in some cases. Taking the necessary steps to establish your paternity as early as possible is at this time the very best way to protect your parental rights.