Sometimes, divorce happens, and can come in the way of a family, but both parents have a right to foster a relationship with their children. As a father, you need to understand your rights in order to enjoy them. Here is a guide to the rights of the father in any broken relationship when it comes to children.
Child support is the money that the non-custodial parent pays regularly to support in paying the expenses of the child. If as a father you have custody of the children, you may be entitled to child support from the mother of your children. The amount you receive is dependent on several factors and it can be arrived at amicably or you may use the legal system if the mother of the child is not willing to pay.
You may ask for the revision of the terms of the child support payments in circumstances when your living conditions have changed, to cater for such things as high rates of inflation and to lower payments if you have been retrenched or sacked.
As a father, you have the right to visit your children. In most cases, the visitation periods are set up through a court system or through an agreement with the mother. The mother should not interfere with your visitation rights. However, in some cases, visitation can be denied. For example, if you pose a physical threat to the children, you may be denied visitation.
Right to Paternity
You are entitled to be a father to your own children. However, you should be careful not to lose this right. For example, if the mother of your children remarries, and the stepfather is willing to adopt your child, you may lose your paternity rights. Therefore before you agree to such an agreement, you should fully understand your situation. If you are not conversant of the law, please consult an expert on family law before you agree to the arrangement. However, in some states, you may still have some rights to paternity even after your children have been adopted.
As a parent, you also have the right to know what is happening to your children. Therefore you may have access to their school report cards, their medical records and any other records. You also have a right to receive a paternity leave.
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For single parents, dating can be a complicated venture. Some questions can help you decide if the person you are dating is right for you, and for your family.
Ask about his/her previous relationships.
You want to know if relationships he/she had in the past were successful and happy, or whether he/she has a history of turbulent relationships that ended badly.
Ask about his/her approach to conflict.
You want to know he/she is able to cope with conflict in an appropriate manner, and that he/she does not resort to unhealthy patterns of fighting, withdrawing, or blaming.
Ask about his/her views regarding children.
Whether you want more children or do not want any more, you and your prospective spouse must be compatible. You also need to know if he/she is prepared to make a commitment to both you and your children.
Ask him/her about his viewpoint on household responsibilities.
You need to know he/she shares your opinions regarding child-care tasks and chores in the home.
Ask his/her viewpoint on marital troubles.
Your prospective spouse may think a quick divorce is the best solution, or he/she may believe in working through problems. He/she may think couples should resolve their own difficulties, or agree that counseling is an option.
Make sure your beliefs and values are compatible.
Having the same values is an important part of a successful relationship. Values can cover everything from avoiding infidelity to methods of child-raising.
Ask about his/her plans for the future.
Does he/she have specific goals for himself, family, career, and other aspects of his life? A mature person is not only thinking about today. While he/she may not have hi/her entire life planned, he/she should be able to tell you what he wants to do with his/her life.
These are some of the topics to address when you are thinking about including a new person in your life and in your family. The more you know about him/her before you make a commitment, the better your chances will be of a happy future.
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