The Rights of a Biological Father
A biological father is a male parent who was responsible for fathering a child. Biological parents have certain rights and responsibilities concerning the children they have conceived which are dictated by the law. Whether the parents are married or not, the biological father of a child has certain parenting rights which he or she will seldom be exempt from. These rights should be detailed and clear to all the concerned parties in case of a separation or dissolution of a marriage. Some of these parenting rights include the following:
1. Custody rights
When a child’s parents are married, they both have joint custody rights. However, in case of a separation or divorce, a legal court has to determine who among the parents gets custody rights depending on the circumstances. In such a case, before the Family Courts of Canada makes its ruling the biological father has the same right to custody as the mother. In most cases, the mother gets full custody of the children.
2. Child support
In most cases, fathers are the ones who provide child support for their children as traditionally men tend to be the ones earning the money although this situation is changing in many countries as gender roles are not what they used to be. However, a biological father who has full custody of the children may seek for child support from the mother. At the same time a father who has been asked by a court of law to pay child support may appeal the amount set if he feels it is too high. The court is likely to adjust the figure if it is justified. If the alleged father is in prison, things will be viewed differently. A man in prison is viewed by the law as not having an income and this issue could compromise child support payments.
3. Proximity rights
A biological father has a right to live near his children, even if he has separated or divorced from their mother and has no custody rights. If the mother wishes to move away with the children she has to give a 30 days’ notice to the father concerning this decision. A biological father can appeal against such a decision and prevent the move. If the father has no custody rights he has a right to dictate where the children will live.
4. Parental responsibility
A biological father has a right to shared parental responsibility with the mother. He has a right to know what is happening in a child’s life and to be notified on issues such as the child’s performance in school, sickness, when the child has vacation and the child’s choice of religion. He also has a right to be notified and be involved in significant occasions in a child’s life such as birthdays, graduations etc.
Contempt of court issues
If a biological father is denied a paternity right in a case that a court of law has already decided he should benefit from all his rights, he has a right to seek contempt of court charges against the other parent. If the mother is found guilty she may be charged with a criminal offense and may even be denied custody rights.
It is to the child’s best interest to have both a mother and father figure as they grow up. Research has indicated that most times custody rights are given to the mother. It is therefore extremely important that a father understands his parenting rights in order to be fully involved in his child’s life. The support of a biological father should continue until the child becomes independent.