Fathers, know your rights!

Did you know that fathers, even if listed on the birth certificate, have no rights with respect to their children if they were not married to the mother unless they file a court action? In Massachusetts, unmarried mothers have all of the rights and control until such time as father files for those rights in court. For example, if father and mother end their relationship and mother wants to move to a different State, it would be perfectly legal for her to do so even if father disagrees. If father wants a say in the raising of his child, he needs to file a Complaint for Custody, Visitation and Support in Probate Court and begin what is known as a paternity action.

I realize that many fathers do not know that they need to assert their rights to their children. They assume that because they are listed on the birth certificat6e, this ensures their legal status. It doesn’t. In order to file, they must have a certified copy of the birth certificate which can be obtained from the town hall of the city or town in which the child was born.

If you want to cement your rights with respect to your children, please contact an experienced legal professional who can assist you with this.

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