The recent revelation that former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered an out-of-wedlock child with a member of his household staff was a shock for many. But, as a recent article at the Huffington Post points out, it also provides an opportunity for all of us to revisit some of the more complex Los Angeles and Orange County father’s rights issues that can emerge in the wake of an out-of-wedlock birth.
As the website notes, many children are born in similar (though not nearly as famous) circumstances every year. “Not surprisingly, many of these cases end up in court when the parents are at odds about custody, child support and other matters,” the site adds.
The piece notes that mothers of children born out-of-wedlock have full custody of their babies in nearly every state pending the establishment of paternity. In most cases, this puts the onus on the father to assert his California paternity rights, usually by going to California family court. Fathers are also, of course, obliged to support their children, generally until they turn 18.
Negotiating the details of agreements concerning paternity, custody and visitation and child support can be complex and, in many cases, contentious. That is why it is essential for any father facing such a situation to have access to the skilled legal advice that an experienced California father’s rights lawyer can offer. Clients need to know that their concerns will be taken seriously, and their interests represented in a compassionate, detail-oriented manner.
Fathers have rights and obligations, but their ability to build a strong, enduring relationship with a son or daughter should never become hostage to any conflict with the child’s mother. Ensuring that your rights are protected is an Orange County family law attorney’s first job.
Huffington Post: If a child is born out of wedlock… is Dad out of luck?