Experienced Fredericksburg Father's Rights Attorney
Most fathers feel that they get a raw deal in the court system during separation or divorce. They’re often stereotyped as being unfit, wanting to avoid child support, or not wanting to play an active and equal part in raising their children after a break-up from the other parent. But, I know better. Fathers are just as able to take care of their kids the same as mothers.
Attorney Tori Bramble has successfully fought for fathers in more cases than she can remember. The court system does have a bias against fathers, but she works to change this. And while the court process may seem unfair, it’s not impossible to get equal time with your children with the right guidance and support.
I understand your frustration. As your courtroom ally, I’ll provide you with effective and strong representation you need so you can know and see that your voice will be heard.
Virginia’s father’s rights to child custody
There is actually no basis in Virginia law that assumes mothers have more of a right to custody than a dad. The state is supposed to treat mothers and fathers equally when it comes to making child custody decisions. In theory, a father is just as likely to be awarded child custody by a Virginia court as a mother. But practically, that sometimes doesn’t happen. But with the right guidance, you can give a persuasive case to the court of how involved and committed you have been and are in your children’s daily lives. And while some judges might still be biased and hold on to the traditional view of child custody that “Mommy knows best”, in many cases I’ve handled, courts do grant fathers custody, whether that means primary physical custody (full custody), 50/50 custody, or somewhere in between.
“Best interest of the child” in Virginia
In figuring out what’s in a child’s best interest during the divorce process, Virginia law gives courts the power to look at cases objectively and consider all the facts. A judge must consider many best interests of the child custody factors. These are:
1. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child's changing developmental needs;
2. The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
3. The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child's life, the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of the child;
4. The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers, and extended family members;
5. The role that each parent has played and will play in the future, in the upbringing and care of the child;
6. The propensity of each parent to actively support the child's contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
7. The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
8. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such a preference;
9. Any history of (i) family abuse as that term is defined in § 16.1-228; (ii) sexual abuse; (iii) child abuse; or (iv) an act of violence, force, or threat as defined in § 19.2-152.7:1 that occurred no earlier than 10 years prior to the date a petition is filed. If the court finds such a history or act, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
10. Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.
A Virginia court will consider the above factors to make a decision about how long and with which parent your children should spend their time with.
Virginia father’s rights to adoption
About 140,000 children are given up for adoption each year. What’s often ignored is that there are the men whose rights as fathers were ignored, their chance for adoption is turned down.
That idea that a father can’t raise a child on his own is false. Now, nearly every state, including Virginia, recognizes a father’s right to adopt a child that’s available for adoption. It’s difficult to make this happen, however, since the law usually requires the mother to name the father for a man to have parental rights. And heartbreakingly, someone who believes he’s the father may not be the child’s father after all.
There’s hope though. Sometimes, you may believe you’re the biological father of a child that’s been born to a woman you didn’t marry. Perhaps the court hasn’t determined the child’s paternity yet, but you want to be notified of future court proceedings involving the child. In these situations, you can join the putative father registry.
But if you think you’re the father and you don’t sign up for the registry, you may suffer devastating consequences where: the mother won’t have to get his consent to an adoption he won’t be told of any plans to adopt the child Virginia will suppose that he gave up the child the state may terminate or end his parental rights forever he won’t be able to say he’s the father during a paternity case Establishing paternity can be way more complicated than you think. The most common choices you have to establish paternity is by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form or asking for DNA/Genetic Testing.
But there are specific court rules that have to be followed depending on your situation. You may not be sure which option to choose when trying to establish paternity. Under these circumstances, you should consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
If you are not happy at just being a weekend dad and want more time with your son or daughter, the qualified team of family lawyers at the Bramble Law Firm have years of experience representing men in paternity, custody, visitation, child support and other family law cases. Contact Attorney Tori Bramble family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation with a caring professional at (540) 628-7340.
Little known father’s rights in Virginia
You have important rights as a father, even if you weren’t married to the mother. Here are some father’s rights you might not realize you have:
You have the right to file papers with the court to establish your fatherhood. You can also request custody and visitation rights in court.
You can also ask that your name be listed on your child’s birth certificate.
You may still have the right to visitation even if you didn’t have a chance to bond and spend time with your child’s life. This will let you enjoy the priceless chance to build an unbreakable bond and strong connection to your child.
Get the advice of an experienced Virginia father’s rights attorney now
The legal team at The Bramble Law Firm can help you fix your situation. If you can dedicate yourself to the responsibility of raising and caring for your child, our fathers’ rights attorneys will fight for your rights in the courtroom. We can help you obtain a fair chance in custody and child support disputes. Whatever your situation is, we will make sure you know your rights and options.