What Every Dad Should Know
About Fathers Rights

Knowing Your fathers rights is important since most unmarried dads are non-custodial parents. Child Support America is a neutral website that supports both residential and non-residential parties. But due to the nature of this topic the rights of a father deserves its own page.

A non-custodial or non-residential parent is the person who does not have primary care of the children. In most cases this person is still required and obligated to pay child support. Regardless of this fact, there are many fathers’ rights that men need to be aware of at all times.

Child Support America


Establish Your Fathers Rights Through The Courts

The first thing to remember is this. If you have not gone through the courts for visitation or have paperwork from a divorce you DON’T HAVE ANY RIGHTS!!

One of the first things you should do as a non-custodial parent is establish some sort of court ordered schedule to see your kids.

Doing this has many advantages, and more importantly it gives you many rights as a father. Without court ordered documentation of visitation, you can run into many problems as a non-residential parent.

The most dangerous issue is the fact that the primary custodial parent can legally leave the area and relocate without giving the non-custodial parent warning. If this happens you will face an uphill battle to locate and establish legal rights to see your children.

On the other hand, if you have established court ordered visitation, the primary parent would need your permission to legally take the kids away from your care. This is simply one issue, but is a harsh reality when discussing the rights of a father.

There are many other things that a non-residential Dad should know about their fathers rights. They should be aware that having a court ordered parenting agreement entitles them to receive many of the same rights that the primary parent has.

You will have entitlements such as having access to the child’s school and medical records. In most cases you will be able to access this information without the consent of the primary parent.

The school system and the child’s physician cannot legally give you this information without court ordered documentation. They also cannot legally deny you any of this information as long as you have the proper paperwork needed. Once you are awarded your parenting agreement from the courts, make sure you place your paperwork on file with whatever agencies you want to obtain records from.

If you do this, things should run smoothly when you want to get your child’s records in the future. If you ever run into any problems, politely tell the agency that you already have records on file and that you have a legal right to your child’s information. The agency should then provide you with access to the records.

Keep in mind that most agencies are only familiar with the residential parent. When the non-residential parent takes advantage of his or her rights it seems out of place. I have personally experienced this first hand.

I’m the non-custodial parent of an eight year old boy. I obtain my son’s records at least once a year from his school and his doctor. When I first started doing this, it felt weird because the staff didn’t know I was the father. I presented a copy of my driver’s license and my court ordered paperwork and asked them to place it on file. I have not had a problem since that time.

You also have many fathers rights concerning your visitation with your child/ren. Having a court ordered visitation agreement gives the non-custodial parent a set schedule to visit their kids. Without this agreement you could be playing a cat and mouse game trying to regularly see your children.

We have seen this happen many times and Child Support America receives tons of emails concerning this issue. It’s also important to know that you do not have to hire an attorney to obtain court ordered visitation!

You can file a motion to the courts yourself, sometimes even for free. The exception to this rule is if you have a complicated situation. If this is the case, you may need legal representation to straighten things out.

Nevertheless, you have the right to have a continuous relationship with your kids. Our recommendation is that you go through the courts and obtain legal paperwork to avoid problems down the line. This is simply some basic information to help dads establish their fathers rights. 


Find the Answers to Your Fathers Rights Questions

Scan through the titles of previously answered questions below to see if your question has already been answered. You can also comment on them.

If you can't find what you are looking for, go ahead and ask your fathers rights question by clicking in the Title Box below. We will do our best to get you a detailed response as soon as possible.

TIP: Summarize your question in your first 2 or 3 sentences, then follow that up with more details.

Enter A Title For Your Fathers Rights Situation (Ex.: How Do I File a Visitation Order?)


Related Fathers Rights Questions From Our Visitors

How do I file a formal/informal complaint against DCSE Norfolk, VA.  
Have an ongoing issue with DCSE Norfolk, VA. When my third oldest child graduated high school in June 2011. I mailed my paperwork to DCSE to have my case …

17 year old son now lives with father 
On Feb 14th 2012 my son moved out of his mother's house against the mothers will to live with me. She has custody of him. The court and local police knows …

Boyfriend has a bad child support situation 
This is a very long story. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2.5 years now, after his (still married) wife forcibly kicked him out of the house. …

Shared Rotating Custody  
I have a unique situation with Shared rotating custody. As the Father, my ex and I have shared rotating custody with no primary residential parent. …

Paternity And Child Support 
I was dating a girl for over a year, and I've now found out she was still seeing her ex-boyfriend for the last 6 months. She's pregnant and swears it's …

Daughter Lives With Boyfriend And I'm Paying Child Support 
I'm a NYC resident I've been paying child support for the past 8yrs. Before this court order I had always sent my daughter and son, from my previous marriage …

Child Support And Fathers Rights 
My ex and I have a two year old daughter together. We have been split up for one year, never married. During this one year separation, I have had the …

Child Support Payments 
I am all for child support, both parents supporting the child and being involved, but after watching my boyfriend go through all of this for two years …

Missouri Court System 
My husband has been divorced since 2007, when his daughter was not even a year old yet. His ex wife left the state and told him he didnt have a choice …

IRS Document For Child Support 
I pay my child support every week for five years and my wife refuses to sign the IRS form allowing me to declare my son as a dependent. I filed a case …

Child Support Arrears And Fathers Rights 
My ex wife and I were divorced in 1999, finalized May 4th, 1999. First mistake was I got a cheap divorce, uncontested. The first page is about child support …

Court Visitation Days 
Currently i have a 6 month daughter & her mother and i can't be in a relationship. we brokeup when she was 2 weeks old. I am a car salesman and my schedule …

Child support and visitation issues 
My name is Leon I've been paying child support for years and my sons mom hasn't been cooperating with the visitation order for years. Every time I speak …

Where do I start with child support 
My child has had a cancer and I my current girlfriend supported us through all the drama she was put through. She even supported me when I moved back in …

Custody without paying child support 
On April 25th 2011, my daughter will be two years of age. Before the birth, my daughters mother and I made a verbal agreement to become parents without …

Arrears after giving up rights 
When my son was nine months old we did a paternity test. we then went to court about 3-4 months later for child support. We went in front of the judge …

My ex saves all the medical bills  
My divorce decree states that I must share any out of pocket expenses incurred for medical/dental for my son. My ex-wife in the past has either held …

My daughter turns 18 
My daughter turn 18 in Feb and her mother took her when she was 4 yrs I always try to get information on were she was but she keep moving so now she pursue …

She is married and committed adultery  
She is married to a man and left him and we messed around and she got pregnant. She later comes to me and says she wants me to take a paternity test even …

Getting Drivers License Back Due To Child Support 
I have had my wages garnished for years while employed and my federal income tax returns have been kept each year as payment on my arrears. I live in rural …

Still Paying Child Support For 30 Year Old Daughter 
My ex wife and I have been divorced now since our daughter was 2 years old, she had soul custody until my daughter turned 18 years old. When my daughter …

Obtaining Medical Records And Pursuit Of Custody 
My Name is Bryon I am the father of a beautiful little girl named Lily. I currently live in Reno Nevada to go college. The short version of this is the …

Court Hearing About Unknown Paternity 
I have been named the father of a 3yr old boy, but paternity is unknown. I got a paper in the mail for a child support hearing but it was not certified. …

Different States Involved And Need Help 
My wife left Texas with my daughter and unborn child and went to her home state Oregon. She had the baby and I have been trying to get her to come back …

Click here to write your own.

Child Support Payers Rights When Overpaid 
First of all for all you child support payers you deserve to have rights just like the person receiving child support. Oklahoma is one of the states unfortunately …

Disabled And Cant Pay Child Support 
I have been disabled due to an auto accident and have no income, my X wife is now threatening me to be taken to court and jailed. I am awaiting social …

Unwed Father Needs Advice 
My girlfriend and I have an 11 month old daughter and she moved out 2 weeks ago with her new boyfriend. She is requesting that I purchase all my daughters …

Not All Dads Are Dead Beats 
I am a father that stayed in a marriage that I was unhappy with for 18 years for my children to grow up without a broken home. i have been unhappy in this …

Getting My Fathers Rights In Ohio 
I have a son with my ex of three years. he was born in Jan of 2010. i work 25 to 30 hours a week making lil over min wage. Her situation is the same. she …

Still Paying For 21 And 18 Year Old 
My daughter will turn 21 in July. My son just turned 18, but has one year left in High School. What are the laws for child support? When will both be …

Steps To take Before Child Is Born 
My son's ex-girlfriend is apparently pregnant. She has told him that he is father. Just before her announcement the relationship was on shaky grounds and …

When Baby Comes Out 
My daughter was born in 04 at the time my girl friend and I had a good relationship. In 06 we married and our journey began, well 08 she decided she wasn't …

17 And Daughter On The Way 
I'm 17 and have a baby girl on the way what rights are I'm going to have to her I'm scared the mother will try and keep her from me she has keep doctor …

I Miss My Daughter In Ohio 
I am 33 years old. I have a little girl who will be 5 this year. In my divorce my ex was ordered to allow me to see my daughter on Wednesday evenings …

Lawyer For No Contact With Son 
In 2004 my wife and I were having marital problems. I had an affair which resulted in the birth of my second son. The mother of my child requested child …

Mothers Rights On Child Support  
When my son was 2 my ex boyfriend took my son and left the country i had to return to my hone state because i had no place to go.could not find my son …

Should I Request A Child Support Modification Hinesville Georgia 
My ex-wife and I divorced 2 years ago. I was living in Alabama at the time. After the divorce she has gone back and forth on our divorce decree when …

Owning Up To My Child Support Responsibilities 
About two ad a half years age I was dealing with this woman. Initially i didn't know that the woman was married. She was separated from her husband and …

How To Prove You Paid Child Support 
My parents have been divorced for 9 years. They decided to live together after the divorce because neither could afford the house on their own. Recently, …

Why Are Fathers Treated So Unfairly 
Why are fathers who don't have custody treated so unfairly? At least the ones who try to pay as outlined by the state get the short end. No one can ever …

If Daughter Goes To College Do I Pay Child Support 
My daughter graduates high school in 2011, she will work a job for a year afterward and then go to college will i still have to pay child support and if …

On Disability And Have Not Seen My Girls In Two Years 
I was put in the hospital for 23 days due to liver,kidney failure in may09 and got behind on child support.i am still under doctors care and lost my job …

Am I The Father Or Not 
The mother of my child, Gary Lyn Ridley, Jr., and I was together approximately 8 years. After my son turned 10, she told me that he may not be mine. …

Not Just A Paycheck I Want My Fathers Rights 
I have a situation in aurora Colorado with a young lady who says I fathered her child. The child is now 1 year old and I do not doubt that he is my son. …

Im Missing Out On My Childrens Lives 
Hello, I need help ASAP!!!. I am the father of 7 yr old twin boys and a 6 yr old daughter. The mother and I have never really seen eye to eye with our …

How Do I Get My Child Support Back 
My son is 3 years old and his mom left us when he was close to turning two years old. I received a letter from the department of revenue stating that I …

Lonoke County Child Support Office Arkansas 
About a year ago I got custody of my son after paying child support for 2 years on time that came straight out of my check. Every couple of months somehow …

How Do I Get Visitation Rights Back In Colorado  
I have a daughter that is five years old. Her mother has caused so many problems for me and my wife. Her mother tried to put restraining orders on me because …

Fathers Child Support And Families 
I am the Vice-Chairperson of the National Board of Director for Fathers & Families Coalition of America. In addition, I serve as Pastor of Union Avenues …

Click here to write your own.

Are My Fathers Rights Protected Before Paying Child Support 
I am a married man and have been for 10 years. In 2008 my wife and I were on the verge of a divorce. We had called it quits and sadly I had a short relationship …

Fighting For Child Support And Fathers Rights  
My wife and I, get my daughter the same amount of time as the mother each week. The mother has full control still, and we have been to court and tried …

Looking To Get Some Fathers Rights In Florida 
I was incarcerated for almost 6yrs, and 2yrs before my release date my daughters mother contacted me. She advised me that she had a little girl and didn’t …

Where Do I Stand On Residental Custody New Jersey 
My daughter’s mother (never married) gave custody to me 10 months ago. We have been separated for 17 months. After 7 months she asked me to take my daughter. …

How Do I Properly Contest A Child Support Adjustment 
Recently, my son’s mother requested a review of the child support. She did this within a few months of getting married to a man she has lived with for …

Fathers Rights Are Kept But He Won’t Pay Child Support 
I am curious what the response is from the end that a non custodial parent can forget his kids weeks at a time with not help to support them or not come …

How Are Court Ordered Joint Custody Agreements Enforced 
I am the non-custodial father of 2 children. Per the dissolution of marriage, I have joint custody rights. If the custodial parent(my ex-wife) insists …

I Want To Have Full Custody Of My Child In Indiana 
My child is 21 months old. She currently is residing with me the father. I have yet to establish paternity. The mother of my child is unfit to provide …

How Do I Get My Child Support Case Moved 
I have two cases but one has already been moved to Georgia, now my second case hasn't been moved because the mother of my kids won't cooperate with me …

I Feel The Non Custodial Father Has No Rights 
I am the father of a five year old boy. I have paid child support court mandated since his birth as well as his health insurance. I have offered to be …

Do I Need A Lawyer To Adjust My Child Support Amount Owed 
I was married to my children’s mother for 8 years and now for some reason she seems to be trying to make my life impossible any way she can. We have been …

What About Us Fathers And Our Fathers Rights 
Hi, I have a 13yr old daughter and I feel as if the system is only for the custodial parent. My ex. has put me under the OOCSS and that way she ensures …

What Do I Do if I'm Paying Too Much In Child Support? 
I am a 25 year old father of two. I pay child support for one child and the other lives with me and his mother. I currently pay almost 400 a month in child …

Increase Of Child Support From 240 To 1200 
This is a long story. Had a child when I was 18 to a girl I barely knew. Went into the navy to support her and my son. Paternity was never established …

Ex Is Threatening For Child Support  
My ex and I have two children together. I have our 17 year old son and she has our 9 year old daughter she threatens me with child support every time she …

Very unusual child visitation circumstance 
I was married in Jan '11, after discovering she was pregnant....we were married for 4 months....never lived together due to job (I couldn't move and she …

Nevada Child Support and Custody Laws 
I have a 5 almost 6 year old daughter with my ex-wife. We have been separated for over 3 years now and, despite a custody order, I have only been able …

International Child Support  
I am a UK citizen in the process of divorcing my abusive UK husband who now resides in the USA. My husband & I split up in May 2010 & he proceed to "move" …

Child Support Process 
Okay I have a child with an ex, who I have paid c/s for in the past, but of course when i am unemployed, child support goes unpaid and i fall behind. I …

Father Figure 
In Washington State if a man and a woman are together and the woman has a child from another man. As soon as the man leaves the woman he is responsible …

Health Care Insurance And Custody 
I am in the middle of a nasty custody battle for joint legal and physical custody of my son. During the proceedings I was told that the health care insurance …

Ex Says She Don't Need Child Support 
I have to pay child supp. after my wife left and took everything. I cant find a job and dont wanna move away from my little girl to find one.... i have …

Persued by Tennessee Courts  
While living in Oregon, we have a child support order through the courts here to pay $208 a month for my one child. She turns 18 in 3 months. I have always …

Father awarded sole custody 
I won my child custody case and was awarded child support in Florida in 2008. Mother took child to Texas in 2007. I was unable to get Texas to turn child …

Ex wife died and I have joint custody 
My ex-wife lived in RI and I was staying in MI due to family health problems for the last 8 mts.I received a phone call from the police telling me my ex-wife …

Click here to write your own.

Father Rights And Responsibility  
After a brief relationship with a girl she called me 5 months after we quit seeing each other saying I could be the father of the child she was pregnant …

My girlfriend left the country with my unborn child 
Without warning my girlfriend up and left to morocco. she is two-three months pregnant with my child. she has contacted me to tell me she wants no contact …

I'm an alienated non-costodial parent 
I am an alienated parent, I say that because my sons mother always telling him things about me that is not true and I think that my son is starting to …

Can I still visit my kids if I am short on child support? 
My Ex-wife moved to Austin Tx with our two kids. I had not seen my kids in almost two years. At the time my ex was married to another man and I had tried …

Do fathers still have rights? 
My husband has a ten-year-old son with his ex-girlfriend (they were never married). He has never had an order for child support, nor has there ever been …

Daughters Child Support Situation 
Here's my situation. My daughter is 23, we just last week found each other. Her mother to whom Illinois and the states disbursement unit are paying her, …

stop paying child support due to medicaid 
Hi I need to know how i can stop from paying child support back to the state you see I have covered my son since 2004 under my insurance last year my son …

How do I find out more about a fathers rights 
My boyfriends ex (never married) recently informed him that she has maxed out all her credit cards and needs more money from him or he won't see their …

My Ex Took My Daughter And Has Kept Her From Me 
I had a child in 1998 and my girlfriend left me in 1999 and i have not been able to find my child until recently i found my ex's sister. she will not tell …

Click here to write your own.


You Are Here → › Fathers Rights