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Birth Fathers’ Rights

Birth Fathers' Rights

In many states, including Utah, a birth father must prove paternity and then approach a court to establish legal rights to his child if he is not married to the mother. Failing to do so can result in the loss of any parental rights, including physical custody, if the mother decides she does not want the child. You should always get a Custody Lawyer to help you with this. While there are some birth fathers who have no desire to be a part of their child’s life, there are others who would gladly take on the responsibility and retain child custody.


At least one state is considering a bill that would present birth fathers with essentially the same rights as birth mothers. Those who oppose the bill say that giving birth fathers more rights could create problems. One central concern appears to be fathers who show no initial interest in their children but then turn up at some later point in time to demand custody and visitation rights. Another concern is that the bill may cause harm for victims of domestic violence.

However, advocates for the bill contend that children are less likely to get into trouble with a father in their life and that fathers should not have to use the courts to fight for access to their own children. Addressing the concern for absent fathers, the bill’s sponsor points out that birth mothers can also behave in a likewise manner, turning the child over to the custody of the father and then coming back at a later time and demanding the child’s return.


If you are a grandparent and are unable to visit your grandchild, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions, such as sadness or perhaps even a sense of anger. In Salt Lake City, and across Utah, it is vital for you to understand where the laws in this state stand on grandparent visitation if you are in this position.

According to the Utah State Legislature, grandparents are able to request grandparent visitation in the state. Moreover, if there are legal proceedings concerning the child which involve custody, visitation or the child’s parents filing for divorce, grandparents can fill out a petition for visitation. Typically, it is presumed that parents have the best interests of their child in mind when making decisions related to grandparent visitation. That said, a number of circumstances may arise where a parent’s choices concerning this matter can be overruled by the court. For example, if the child has unfit parents, visitation was denied or grandparent visitation serves a child’s best interests, the court could overrule choices made by the child’s parent.

In some cases, courts will ask the grandchild about his or her wishes with regard to grandparent visitation. Furthermore, if you, your grandchild or your grandchild’s parents experience significant changes, you may be able to have your visitation order modified, so long as the court finds that such modifications are acceptable.


On this blog, you can find a number of posts which explain some of the consequences that come with missing child support payments, such as being taken into custody and facing steep fines. However, in Salt Lake City, and other places in Utah, back child support could affect you in other ways that you may not be aware of. For example, this dilemma could result in you being unable to leave the country.

The U.S. Passports & International Travel reports that those who owe over $2,500 in back child support lose their eligibility to obtain a passport. Whether you plan on leaving the country for business or simply enjoy spending time in other parts of the world, falling behind on your child support obligations could prevent you from traveling internationally.

Fortunately, you may be able to prevent or address this problem in a number of ways. For starters, if you owe back child support, you could have the ability to set up a payment plan and pay off what you owe. However, if you are worried about being unable to pay child support because you recently experienced a major life change, such as a major condition or losing your job, you may be able to make your monthly payments more manageable by modifying your child support order.

Whether you decide to move forward with child support modification or set up a payment plan, it is vital to handle child support issues properly. Please do not view this post as an alternative to legal advice.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506