When parents of young children go through a divorce in California, the father is often asked to pay child support to the mother. Fathers who are in this position should be proactive about family law issues so that they can be in the best position to defend their parental rights. A father who has been served with legal documents covering child support and visitation issues should read the documents thoroughly so that they are understood.

Often, family law documents will contain information that a father may not like or agree with. If legal documents make a father angry, he should not vent his anger by making negative phone calls or sending mean texts and emails to his ex-spouse. These spur-of-the-moment actions could be documented by a man’s ex-spouse and then used against him in court later on.

Rather than responding to an ex-spouse, a father who has been served legal family law documents should respond to the court. If the court receives no response from a divorced father after legal documents have been served, the mother will usually get most of whatever she is petitioning for. Going to court can be a positive step, as the father can have an opportunity to assert his rights. Parenting time, child support and other issues can also be clearly defined and established.

If a divorced father does not provide documentation of all of his expenses, he may be ordered to make monthly child support payments that he cannot afford. A lawyer can often be of assistance in providing advice to the parent throughout the process.