I am not the father but I still want to be involved in the child's life
From time to time disputes arise over the paternity of a child of a relationship. Just because you are not the father of the child doesn’t mean that you are expelled from having a relationship with the child. In certain circumstances the person seeking to spend time with the child may be unsure if he is the biological father or he may have raised that child as his own. For all intents and purposes he is a father to the child.
Disputed paternity can be resolved by simply undertaking a DNA based paternity test.
Whether the father is the biological father or is otherwise a significant person in the child’s life, can have an impact upon the time that the child will spend with the father or such significant person. The Court will usually grant more time to a biological father than to a significant person.
If you have concerns regarding paternity or if the mother of the child is claiming that you cannot spend time with the child because you are not the biological father, then we can assist you to maintain your relationship with the child or otherwise clarify issues with respect to the paternity.
The practical approach
We often have parents say to us “I want 50/50 custody of the kids”, that is that they would like the children to live with each parent for an equal amount of time in a shared care arrangement.
When quizzed on their employment circumstances, the next statement from the parent can sometimes be “I work Monday to Friday from 6:00am to 6:00pm”. In such circumstances, if that parent does not have a support network or cannot otherwise make arrangements for the child’s care during their working hours or cannot modify their working hours, then an equal time, shared care arrangement may not be practical or achievable. It may be however that arrangements can be put in place which will allow such a parent to spend more time with the child.
When considering what arrangements are appropriate for a child, the Court’s will consider issues such as domestic violence and child abuse if applicable, as well as what is reasonably practicable and in the child’s best interests.
Springwood Lawyers will provide sound advice on how you should proceed.