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What exactly are fathers’ rights?

You hear a lot about fathers’ rights nowadays. But if you are a Minnesota dad, you likely have questions about just what these are and how they affect you.

FindLaw explains that fathers’ rights refer to the legal rights you have with regard to your children. They include the following:

  • The right to establish legal paternity of your children if you were not married to their mother at the time of their birth
  • The right to have input into decisions about family planning, abortion, adoption, etc.
  • The right to have access to your children’s medical and school records
  • The right to take parental leave should you need it for child-related reasons such as a medical emergency
  • The right to have reasonable parenting time with your children in the event of a divorce
  • The right to obtain joint or full custody of your children in the event of a divorce

Rights versus responsibilities

Keep in mind, however, that responsibilities come along with your rights. For instance, if you wish to seek joint or full custody of your children, make sure you are doing so because such an arrangement represents your children’s best interests, not mearly because you want to “get back” at their mother. Also remember that you have the responsibility to financially support your children, possibly including paying child support after a divorce.

Parenting requires, at minimum, an 18-year commitment to raise and support each child. Most parents, fathers and mothers alike, agree, however, that parenting represents a lifetime commitment. Your kids will always need you, regardless of how old they are.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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