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Asserting Your Parental Rights to Child Custody

Too many men suffer after divorce or separation because they are not aware of their paternity rights. In California, a father's rights are enshrined in law and guarantee that child custody will be adjudicated irrespective of the parent’s sex or gender during the divorce process or child custody proceedings. The same goes for biological and non-biological fathers, so long as the law recognizes that the non-biological parent is in fact the child’s parent.

Every parent, regardless of sex or gender, has the same rights in any custody proceeding. Despite this assurance, always consult with an experienced father’s rights attorney when establishing paternity or asserting your rights to child custody.

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Can a Father Obtain Custody in California?

The short answer is yes! The courts in California may award partial or full custody to either parent, based on a complex analysis of various factors which impact the best interest of the child. During the pendency of a custody action or post-judgment, if either parent wishes to move out of state with the child, consent or a court order will be required.


  • Q: What factors influence which parent obtains child custody?

  • A: The California Family Code and various case law outline factors the court must consider when making custody and visitation orders. The court will consider any history of abuse and domestic violence, the nature and amount of contact with both parents, substance abuse by either parent, and other factors. It is the public policy of the State of California to favor frequent and continuing contact between children and their parents, but that policy will always take a back seat to the health, safety, and welfare of a child.


  • Q: How do I ensure that the court makes the best decision for my child? 

  • A: It is the court’s charge to protect the best interests of children involved in divorce cases and support stability and continuity for each child. It is imperative to consult with an experienced father’s rights attorney as soon as possible if you are considering disputing child custody, terminating parental rights, or establishing paternity. The actions you take today could have a substantial impact on your custody litigation later. All parents should be informed regarding how judicial intervention could impact the life of their child.

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