Child custody is a difficult situation, and if you haven’t seen your child for a few years, it can get even more difficult. Can you still seek visitation? What are your rights? Every situation is different, so it’s important to speak with a lawyer who can answer your questions, but the following are some things you should know.
If you are the child’s father, but you and the mother were never married, it’s possible you will have to undergo a paternity test. You’ll need to file a paternity action with the court so you can be judicially determined as the father. After that takes place, child custody and visitation can be addressed.
Being Kept From Your Child
If you and your child’s other parent were married at one time, you likely had a child custody and visitation arrangement as part of the divorce decree. If you had visitation, but the other parent has been keeping you from your child, you have every right to ask the court to take another look at the situation. A judge could change the custody arrangement in your favor so you can have more time with your child.
Keep in mind that if it’s been a couple years, the court might wonder and question why you haven’t made an effort to see your child before now. You can still seek to have the custody arrangement altered, but it could be harder for you to prove your case.
Choosing Not To See Your Child
If you have made a choice not to see your child, and you have avoided visitation until now, it’s probably not going to look good. If you had visitation rights to begin with, you still have those same rights, but it’s going to be harder for you to get a court to uphold the order now that you’ve taken years off from seeing your child. With the right lawyer, you may be able to be part of your child’s life once again.
Understanding Your Rights
As the non-custodial parent with visitation of a child, you may be in a tough situation if you haven’t seen your child in quite some time. Fortunately, the odds could be in your favor if you’re ready to see your child again. With the help of a child custody lawyer, it’s possible you will be able to exercise your right to custody. Contact a lawyer today to learn more about your rights.