What to Do If You Arent Married Who Has Child Custody?
Unmarried parents have a lot to think about. Besides finding a suitable partner, you have to deal with the legal aspects of raising a child. Whether it’s paternity, child support, or a visitation schedule, you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
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The best way to get a handle on the laws in your state is to contact a lawyer. They can help you understand how the system works and which questions to ask. In some cases, it’s more beneficial to work out a compromise on your own than to have someone else make the decision for you. If you and your partner are on good terms, a family court judge will be more likely to deem your proposals reasonable.
One of the biggest surprises to many unmarried couples is the difference between the laws governing their relationship and the laws pertaining to their children. Some states award joint legal custody of a child while others give primary physical custody to one parent. While these differences are often minor, it’s important to know your rights as a parent.
Getting a paternity test can help you figure out who’s the biological father of your child. You can either try and establish your own paternity by filing a paternity affidavit or petition a court for help. It’s also possible to obtain a genetic DNA test to determine your child’s biological father. Although you won’t necessarily be entitled to all of the same rights as a biological father, you can usually use the results to help you make a court-approved parenting plan.
The biggest question to answer when considering your options is how will the results of a paternity test affect your child’s future. Usually, the child will spend a fair amount of time with each parent. However, it is possible for a judge to substitute a completely different arrangement if he or she finds the original proposal unreasonable.
In the absence of a legal or physical custody arrangement, unwed parents need to take steps to ensure their children’s best interests are met. This may involve hiring a lawyer, seeking legal assistance, or enlisting the aid of a mediator. Depending on the circumstances, mediation may be an effective way to make sure both parties are on the same page. A neutral mediator can also be a useful ally in a divorce settlement. Similarly, a mediation session can help resolve any other disputes relating to your child.
The paternity test can prove to be a complex process. It is recommended to hire an attorney who specializes in custody and paternity issues. Fortunately, most judges are willing to approve a proposal if they find it sensible. For instance, a judge can order that a step-parent be allowed to pursue visitation rights, while the biological parent will be required to pay child support.
The paternity affidavit is a good start, but the court will be a lot more likely to give you the green light if you are able to show a concrete proof of paternity. The best part is, you can probably get a court-approved paternity test even if you don’t live together.