As a family law attorney in Minnesota, I am often asked by single fathers:
"My ex-girlfriend refuses to let me see my kids! What can I do?"
The answer? Nothing, until you go to court.
Unfortunately, fathers who have children out of wedlock are at legal disadvantage because the mother automatically has sole legal and sole physical custody of the baby. This means that the father has no right to visitation (unless the mother agrees).
The good news is this: Rights for the father do exist! However, until he asserts his rights in court, there is little he can do to see his child or voice his opinion regarding the child's upbringing.
Only a order by the court grant the father his "rights" to his child. A court order results only in two situations:
- The parties can mutually agree to the father having custody and parenting time.
- The Court must decide. If you and your child's mother cannot agree, you must then file the necessary paperwork with the court, asking for the Court to make the final determination.
From the author: Minneapolis Family Law Attorney