If you’re like most fathers in America, you would do anything to maintain a relationship with your children. Fathers’ rights ensure that you have the opportunity to gain partial or full custody of your children, and they also entitle you to child support payments if it makes sense for your situation. In Georgia, you must go through a legitimation process to verify paternity of a child before you are eligible for visitation rights, custody and child support. However, these rights can remain in jeopardy even after your paternity has been established.

The son of entertainer and singer-songwriter Usher was recently discharged from the hospital after a lengthy recovery from an August 2013 accident. This accident originally prompted Usher’s ex-wife to file an emergency custody claim. The claim came after a mishap involving Usher’s 5-year-old son and a pool drain at the rental home in which Usher was staying. The boy’s hand became caught in the pool drain, trapping him underwater.

The boy survived, though Usher’s ex-wife claimed that the father’s actions have placed their two children at unnecessary risk. The Fulton County judge involved with the emergency custody claim determined the event to be an accident, and no legal action was taken.

Mishaps like the one involving Usher’s son can happen to anyone, and the ensuing court hearing serves as an example of how easily a father’s custody can be challenged. Although there was a verifiable accident in this case, false allegations can occur. Unfortunately, these strategic moves to gain full custody can sometimes be successful.

As the custodial parent of a child, it is important to be informed about your rights. Learning about family law issues in Georgia can help you make smart decisions and ensure you are able to remain close to your children.

Source: FOX 5 Atlanta, “Judge dismisses claim; Usher keeps custody of children,” Dec. 27, 2013