Despite divorce tearing your marriage apart, you and your ex-spouse still have a shared parental obligation to your child. However, as a father, you might fear that the potential outcome of the court’s parental rights and responsibilities order causes you to lose access or involvement in your child’s life.
Since the judge’s decision often depends on your family’s circumstances, it is critical not to go through the process alone. Thus, you can benefit from a legal representative guiding you in establishing your rights as a dad.
Identifying different types of parentage
Vermont recognizes the following forms of parentage or how you can be your child’s legal parent for all purposes, with each kind having its own set of rules:
- Alleged genetic parent: You claim to be the child’s possible genetic parent, but the court has yet to deliver a judgment. Then, you can become an adjudicated parent as determined by the court.
- Presumed parent: You were married to the child’s birth mother when the child was born, agreed to place your name on the birth certificate, shared a home with the child for the first two years since birth, and you and the child’s birth mother agreed that you identify as the child’s father.
- De facto parent: You lived with the child for a significant amount of time, developed a parent-child relationship and consistently took care of them without expecting financial compensation.
- Intended parent: You demonstrated intent to be the child’s parent by consenting to an assisted reproduction or a gestational carrier agreement.
While this list provides an overview of how you can determine parentage, your situation may have distinct details that can affect the process and results. As things become confusing, your lawyer can help you navigate through the complexities and protect your parentage.
Securing parentage for the child’s well-being
Your continuous and active presence can positively impact your child’s growth and development. It can show them that you are determined to fulfill your parental commitment even if the family dynamics have changed. You can do so by securing parentage that allows you to make decisions for the child’s best interests.