Many fathers in Nebraska don’t understand their rights under the law. They leave most of the decisions related to their relationship with their children to the mother. When the two of you no longer have a good relationship with each other, she may in turn refuse to let you spend time with your child.
You can theoretically assert your basic rights as a parent in Nebraska by asking for sharing custody. Even if you aren’t in a stable living situation, you could potentially ask for visitation access. Many fathers who would like shared custody are at a disadvantage because they have yet to establish paternity or their legal role as a father.
Can the mother refuse to acknowledge you and prevent you from getting custody rights?
Not all options require the mother’s assistance
Fathers who want to add their names to the birth certificates of their children at the hospital can do so with the cooperation of the mother. The right paperwork at the hospital will mean that even the earliest birth certificate for your child includes your name as their father.
However, perhaps you were not present at the time of the birth or your relationship with the mother was not in a good place at that point. Now that you want parenting time, she could cooperate with you and fill out special state paperwork voluntarily acknowledging your paternity. If she does not want to cooperate with you, you can always turn to the family courts.
The courts can order genetic testing
When there is a question as to the identity of a child’s father, a genetic test is the most reliable way to resolve the matter. Genetic tests are typically over 99% accurate when properly performed, and they are non-invasive.
The courts can order the mother to present herself and the child for genetic testing to validate your relationship with the child or possibly disprove it. Provided that the paternity test shows you are the child’s biological father, you will then be able to formally establish paternity with the state and then request custody proceedings.
Fathers have rights under Nebraska state law which include the right to spend time with the child and the right to have a say in certain aspects of their life. A judge can decide how to divide both that parental authority and parenting time between you and the mother if you have to litigate the custody issue. Taking the time to establish paternity with or without the cooperation of the mother is a crucial first step if you want to assert your rights as a father.