It is not uncommon — especially in the past — for Pennsylvania fathers to get the short end of the stick when it comes to child custody proceedings. In fact, it used to be quite common for mothers to gain full custody of children following a divorce and fathers would only receive visitation rights. Fortunately, laws and legal practices throughout the nation are changing in the modern age and fathers are being given more rights during child custody proceedings.
Indeed, the national trend appears to involve 50/50 child custody rights going to both the mother and the father of a child. This means that children will typically live half the time with their mothers and half the time with their fathers, and both parents will be equally responsible for the rearing of their children. That includes equal financial responsibility as well.
Still, however, the biological fact that a father’s actual paternity may be called into question can create setbacks to a father’s pursuit of custody in many cases. A Pennsylvania mother might claim that a man claiming to be her child’s father is not the father. In this case, with proper legal representation, a father can navigate the process of ordering a DNA paternity test and attempting to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that he is, in fact, the father of the child. Once paternity has been proved in this regard, the courts will likely award a number of legal rights to the father concerning child custody and/or visitation rights.
If you are currently struggling to establish paternity in your child custody matter, or if you are trying to gain visitation rights, Palange, Endres & Marks, PC, may be able to help. We are available to listen to the facts of your child custody or fathers’ rights case and advise you of your legal rights and options.