Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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Complicated custody dispute involves biological father's rights

When a Florida couple shares a child and is no longer together, visitation rights can be among the most complicated issues that they will face. Not only do the parents want to see the child and play a key role in his or her development, but they also want to adhere to the best interests of the child. Normally, the couple will either come to an agreement on a parenting plan or the court will help for one to be formulated. In certain cases, however, there will be a custody dispute. Some are more complicated than others. Regardless, having legal help is an imperative.

A unique case has led to a man fighting both the mother of his child and state law to have paternal rights to his biological son. The child is 3-years-old and has not seen his father for an extended period. This is because the father and mother terminated their relationship and she no longer allows him to see the child. The woman was married to another man when the child was born and, according to the law, that makes the husband the legal father even though he is not the biological father. The biological father has filed a petition for paternity, which the mother rejected. She asked the court to dismiss the case. There is no disagreement that the man is the biological father of the child, but her husband is raising the child as his own and she does not want to alter this arrangement.

There are innumerable issues that can come up with a custody dispute. A father who is having trouble seeing his child can be a difficult situation to navigate in and of itself, but when there are legal factors stacked against him, it is worse. Even if there are laws that are complex, that does not automatically mean there cannot be a resolution. For example, negotiation can lead to a modification to satisfy all parties and avoid a drawn out legal case. If the case goes to court, it is wise to have a legal professional who will do everything possible to help a client.

In this case, the child's biological father is not allowed to see his son due to a technicality in the law. This in spite of it being known and acknowledged that the child is his. With a case this difficult, it is imperative to have a lawyer to provide guidance and assistance. That is the first call that should be made in any case regarding visitation rights and legal custody.

Source: wptv.com, "Port St. Lucie father challenging Florida law for paternal rights, mother is rejecting petition," Michelle Quesada, Feb. 11, 2017

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Panama City, FL 32401

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