Father’s Rights in Washington
Establish Rights to Your Child With a Paternity Suit
More appropriately, the subject of fathers’ rights should be called “children’s rights.”
Mothers no longer have the sole responsibility for raising children. Today, many fathers participate in raising their children and seek parental rights if they are not recognized as the children’s legal father. An experienced family law attorney can help you obtain rights to your child.
Please note that the term “father’s rights” is anathema to the actual process. Some law firms use the term to attract potential clients. We don’t. Women have just as many rights, but generally speaking, children have the most. We endorse the term “children’s rights.” This firm acknowledges that both fathers and mothers have rights. In some cases, they may be different, but to suggest that there is a special legal category called “father’s rights” is improper.
If you are seeking help in this area, Anderson, Fields & McIlwain, Inc., P.S., can assist you. Our Seattle lawyers have the knowledge and experience you need to establish your rights to your child. We understand that you want to be an important part of your child’s life and we can help you fight for a place in your child’s future. To arrange an appointment, please call our lawyers at 206-905-4290 or toll-free 866-970-4558 or contact us online.
You Can Take Action
An unwed father has the right to file a paternity action and legally establish himself as his child’s father. If a father is already paying child support, he can file a suit to enforce visitation (now called parenting time) rights. In addition, he can file for custody (residential time) if he believes the mother is unfit.
After a man has been legally established as the father, he has the same rights to the child as the mother. The court cannot show an automatic preference for mothers over fathers. However, in each case, the judge will consider what is in the best interest of the child, just as in a custody proceeding during a divorce.