Visitation Rights for Fathers

Visitation Rights for Fathers

Visitation rights are granted to the non-custodial parent in divorce and child custody cases. These rights enable the parent time for visiting with their child. All decisions concerning custody and visitation get made with the child’s best interest standard. Generally, it is best for the child to have a significant and healthy relationship with both parents. Consequently, it is rare that a court is going to refuse visitation rights to a parent completely.

When determining which parent should be granted custody, and which parent should get child visitation rights, courts may also think about:

  • The day-to-day schedule of each of the parents, like their work and living schedules;
  • The present employment and work history of each of the parents; and
  • The whereabouts of each of the parents.

Father’s rights to visitation basically means that the child’s biological father has as much a right for spending time with their child as the child’s mother does. Previously, laws were stacked against fathers, and mothers were oftentimes awarded full custody rights whether they were ideally suited for taking the role. That was in the past, and a parent’s gender will not usually have any concern on the visitation rights they will get being the non-custodial parent.

Nevertheless which parent is awarded visitation rights, those rights comprise of the right to:

  • visit their child at a scheduled time, as is specified in the divorce decree;
  • plan any allowable activities with their child, which are also specified in the divorce decree;
  • be free of the other parent’s management throughout visitation;
  • spend the whole allotted time with their child, with no infringing;
  • a mandate stopping the child’s other parent from moving them out-of-state; and
  • to alter the divorce decree if it is no longer possible.

Even though some states do continue to use guidelines related to conventional gender specific roles, and grant the mother custody as the assumed caregiver, its unconstitutional to do. A lot of states have evolved to a gender-neutral approach and understand that this is not always in the best interest of the child.

Father’s rights also come along with non-rights, or limitations on what actions they might take being a father. For instance, they don’t have the right to refuse child support payments, even when the child’s mother is in violation of the father’s visitation rights. Furthermore, they do not have the right to verbally abuse their child’s mother to impose his visitation rights.

How Do I Determine and Affirm My Rights as a Father?

To get access to your rights as your child’s natural father, paternity is required to be established. If you were married to the mother when the child was born, it is possible that paternity is going to automatically be established. If you weren’t, you are going to need to establish paternity legally by signing and filing a recognition of paternity within the court. This is usually accomplished at the time of the child’s birth using the child’s birth certificate. The child’s mother is also going to need to sign this recognition.

Many states do have a statute of limitations for how long a father must determine their paternity. At the end of the day, the court is going to provide a decision as to who the child’s biological father is, and that father can seek any child custody and parental rights. A father is not married is going to have no legal rights for visitation or child custody without first establishing they are the child’s biological father.

A father’s visitation rights aren’t inevitably automatically awarded even if paternity has been established. You need to be prepared to endure a thorough examination by the courts in which they are going to consider your relationship with your child, your background, and your mental soundness.

Furthermore, any criminal activity history, domestic abuse, or violence may also affect the court’s determination. Don’t forget, it is uncommon for courts to completely deny visitation rights. It is critical to remember that this is all done to guarantee your child is safe, and their best interests are being overseen.

Do I Need Hire Lawyer for Assistance with Father’s Visitation Rights?

Family law is complex and differs by state. In addition, occasionally established guidelines like divorce decrees and visitation plans need alterations to guarantee each parent is not in violation of these legally binding documentation.

As a result, if you find yourself in a situation where you are pursuing custody or visitation rights being a father, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Child visitation lawyer. An experienced lawyer can assist you in understanding your state’s particular laws, guarantee your rights to visitation are safeguarded, and help you in any necessary alteration processes. In addition, they can help you in establishing your case for any added visitation and/or custody rights at the same time giving you representation in court, if required.


  1. Peeler, Travis. “Visitation Rights for Fathers.” LegalMatch Law Library. LegalMatch, 30 Oct. 2019. Web. 08 Sept. 2021.

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


Jennifer Moshier Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Scottsdale Arizona
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

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