When the question of child custody arises, unmarried fathers in Connecticut may feel they have a disadvantage when compared to the child’s mother or even their stepfather. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, instances of fathers fighting for their right to gain involvement in their children’s lives has increased dramatically over the past several decades.
If you are living in Connecticut and have concerns about your custody rights, there are several laws that might affect you and your children.
Connecticut defines the role of “father” in several different ways. This definition is usually important to matters of custody and may include:
- The role as stated under Connecticut law
- An admittance of paternity
- Establishment via a paternity test
If it is unclear whether you are the father of a child, under Connecticut law, you have the right to file for a paternity claim without the mother’s consent. This may help you further your cause if you are fighting to share in the custody of your child or do not wish to consent to an adoption by your ex-partner’s current spouse.
While you do have several rights as a father under Connecticut law, you also have a number of responsibilities if you wish to establish paternity. Under state law, it is required that you admit that you are the father of the child in question, in writing, and have contributed to the general welfare of that child, such as providing for food, schooling or medical care. The state may deny you rights if one or more of these responsibilities are not met.
Connecticut fathers have the right to pursue a relationship with their children, even if they are not married to the mother. However, since the definition of what a father is may vary depending on singular circumstances, those invested in the process may want to review state laws before proceeding.