If you’re unmarried and have children with your partner, you might be wondering how child custody laws apply to your situation. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always simple or straightforward. In many cases, child custody for unmarried parents is much more complicated than it is for married couples.
If you are an unmarried parent facing a custody dispute, it is essential that you speak with an experienced family law attorney. Our lawyers are knowledgeable in all areas of family law and can help you protect your rights and interests in child custody proceedings.
How Do Child Custody Laws Apply to Unmarried Parents?
There are a few key factors that can complicate child custody arrangements for unmarried parents. First, if the parents were never married, then the mother has sole custody of the child, unless and until the Father petitions the Court. It does not matter whether the Father signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or whether he is on the birth certificate. He must petition the Court to get parenting time rights or legal custody rights of the child.
Once the Father petitions the Court to establish custody of the child, the Court will make its decision based on what it believes is in the best interests of the child, without giving any preference to either mother or father; however, if the Father has not been regularly visiting with the child, then the presumption of custody will remain with the Mother, but if the Father can prove that he has been exercising parenting time with the child on a consistent basis prior to initiating a custody action, then the Court will take that into consideration when awarding custody and parenting time.
Finally, the fact that the parents are not married can sometimes lead to disputes over child custody and parenting time. These disputes can be difficult and expensive to resolve in court, so it’s important for unmarried parents to try to agree on a parenting plan as early as possible.
How Can a Lawyer Clear Up My Situation?
If you are an unmarried parent with questions about child custody, it is important to speak with a lawyer. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law and can provide guidance throughout the child custody process. We can provide you with dedicated representation to ensure that your situation doesn’t boil over into something more serious.
Our lawyers are experienced in family law and can help you protect your interests in child custody proceedings. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Which Child Custody Lawyer is Right for Me?
When it comes to choosing a child custody lawyer, there are many factors to consider. The most important thing is to find a lawyer with who you feel comfortable and who you can trust to advocate for your rights. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering which lawyer to hire:
- Do I need a lawyer who has experience with child custody cases?
- What kind of experience does this lawyer have?
- How well does this lawyer communicate?
Our law firm prides itself on providing unwavering support for all of our clients. Contact us today to learn more by calling 615-970-6448.