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What Are Father's Rights?

As a divorce and custody attorney for nearly 20 years I am often asked about "Father's Rights."  The short answer is that a father has the same rights as any other parent.  In a divorce, this is automatic. If the parties are not married, the father's rights cannot be enforced until after paternity has been established.  Kentucky law is clear that neither parent has preferential rights.* (Ohio note) As often as father's ask about their rights do mother's assume that their rights are superior.  Nowhere in Kentucky statutes is either parent granted preferential rights for any reason.  The BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN is paramount in any custody case heard by family courts in Kentucky. Many clients also question what will happen if one party abandons the marital residence.  This is specifically addressed in KRS 403.270 (4) The abandonment of the family residence by a custodial party shall not be considered where said party was physically harmed or was seriously threatened with physical harm by his or her spouse, when such harm or threat of harm was causally related to the abandonment. If you have custody questions regarding father's rights, mother's rights whether in a divorce, post divorce or by unwed parents, contact a family law attorney in your area.  For Campbell, Kenton, Boone and Hamilton Counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) for a consultation. *This is not the same in Ohio.  Unwed mothers have clearly superior rights to fathers under Ohio law.

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