Fathers have historically taken a backseat when it comes to child custody matters. In the past courts would routinely award primary custody of minor children to their biological mothers rather than their biological fathers. In recent years, however, various fathers' rights advocates have promoted the rights of biological fathers in order to gain the physical and legal custody of their minor children.
Protecting fathers' rights relating to the custody of minor children can be a difficult endeavor, even in this age of gender neutrality. If the parents were unmarried when the child was born, the father must first establish paternity of the child. Unwed fathers may have to fill out additional paperwork and submit to DNA testing in order to establish paternity.
There are also cases where the father has doubts over paternity. In such cases Arizona has legal procedures to determine paternity. In cases where paternity is not contested, Arizona law provides for acknowledgment of paternity. Under this procedure, a man may acknowledge his paternity voluntarily. This can facilitate the process of child custody.
In many cases these days both parties may agree to establish joint legal and physical custody of the children. However, in some cases it is necessary to go to court to protect the father's right to see his children.
Getting professional legal help can often be beneficial for fathers wishing to establish child custody and visitation claims. Attorney John Bednarz has years of experience with child custody issues and has represented many fathers in obtaining physical custody of their children.