In Kentucky, as in many states, the law aims to prioritize the child’s welfare and actively safeguards the rights of both mothers and fathers. For fathers facing divorce or seeking to establish paternity, knowing your rights is the first step towards ensuring a fair outcome for you and your child.
Fathers play an indispensable role in their children’s lives, and Kentucky law acknowledges this by offering fathers opportunities to assert their rights and responsibilities. Whether you are going through a divorce or are an unmarried father wishing to claim paternity, you have the right to seek custody or visitation. The courts do not automatically favor the mother in custody battles. They consider all relevant factors to determine what arrangement serves the child’s best interests.
The rights of unmarried fathers
When a child is born to unmarried parents in Kentucky, the father does not automatically have legal rights to the child. To establish these rights, the father must first establish paternity. Here are the two ways to establish paternity:
- A voluntary acknowledgment if both parents agree
- A court order
Once paternity is legally recognized, a father gains the right to seek custody or visitation and bears the responsibility of supporting the child financially.
Establishing paternity is not just about the label or making the relationship official. It is a crucial step that can enhance a father’s relationship with his child. It creates a legal bond between father and child and sets the stage for the father’s involvement in important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, education and welfare.
The rights of married fathers going through a divorce
For fathers who are divorcing, it is important to understand that Kentucky courts consider joint custody as a viable option that promotes the welfare of the child. Fathers should not shy away from requesting joint or even full custody if they believe it is in their child’s best interest. It is their right as a parent. The court will evaluate the father’s relationship with the child, his involvement in the child’s life and his ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment.
Fathers in Kentucky have the right to be active and engaged parents. Whether through amicable agreements or legal proceedings, the goal is to secure a future where the child thrives under the care and love of both parents.