Like most Minnesota fathers, you’ve likely faced several challenges as you provide for your children and try your best to give them a solid foundation and the skills and opportunities needed to reach their full potentials as they reach adulthood. When you determined the most viable option to your marital problems was divorce, you likely worried how the outcome would affect the ones you love most: your children. As always, you were determined to keep their best interests in mind as you developed a future parenting plan and whole new lifestyle.

There may be extenuating circumstances in your particular situation that has you wanting to seek full custody of your kids. You might be worried, however, that because you are their father, the court may not grant your request. It’s crucial to remember that you have rights, and there are support networks available to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your family.

Presumption of paternity

By virtue of the fact that you were married to your children’s mother when they were born, the law presumes you are the biological parent of your children. Such information may be a key factor when seeking full custody. The following list provides further information on the topic:

  • If, for some reason, your spouse wishes to dispute your biological parenthood, a request would have to be submitted to the court to order you to take a DNA test.
  • The court typically believes children fare best in shared custody situations.
  • If you have reason to believe your spouse is a detriment to your children’s well-being, you would want to explain your allegations to the court. Issues that may suggest detriment are child abuse, neglect, illegal drug or alcohol abuse, etc.
  • Just because you are a father does not mean the court considers you a lesser parent; in the court’s eyes, both parents are equal.
  • If you request full custody of your children, you will likely have to answer many personal questions regarding your relationship with them and how much time they are used to you spending with them on a regular basis. In addition, you will have to provide proof of the financial, medical and educational support you have made up to this point.

Just because you divorced your children’s mother does not mean you wish to shirk your parental duties. Many Minnesota fathers like you have been accused of being deadbeat dads when, in fact, they are far from it. While you may have your work cut out for you in court, if you arm yourself with information ahead of time and prepare to protect your rights, you may be able to achieve an outcome that sets the tone for a successful, happy future with your kids.

You don’t have to go it alone in court either. You may request representation from an experienced family law attorney who is fully prepared to act on your behalf to overcome any obstacles that arise.