Family Law and Divorce

Parental Rights of Unmarried Parents – Child Custody

Dealing with child custody is always challenging, but establishing parental rights for unmarried parents can add to the complexity of child care. For married couples, the child custody is directly answered to the mother. However, the father may also pursue his child’s custody in some special cases or for some specific reasons. We consulted with Marcus Legal team and collected some general rules related to custody of children, in the case of unmarried parents.

Mother’s Rights

Parents, married or unmarried, mostly face the same legal issues when it comes to the parental rights. But, laws are somewhat difficult for unmarried parents. Rules say that the mother will be the primary choice for granting the custody of her child.

She can take all major and minor decisions related to the welfare of her child. She can take decisions for child’s schooling, home residence, health needs, vacations and travel, child care, extracurricular activities and everything.

Child Custody

Father’s Rights

A father who wants to stay connected with his child can opt for shared custody or visitation rights with child’s mother. However, receiving any of these is extremely difficult in most of the cases. If the name of the father is mentioned in child’s birth certificates, his parental rights equally weigh in the court as that of the mother’s. Otherwise, the father has to prove his biological paternity to pursue his parental rights in the court.

The father needs to show to the court that he’s a suitable parent and can fulfill all responsibilities related to his child. Single father hardly receives his child’s custody if mother deemed a caring, responsible and financially sound parent. However, the father can set up a legal base for shared custody arrangements and visitation rights.

For father’s parental rights, it’s important for him to file the appropriate pleadings in the court to set up those rights. Without court orders, the father doesn’t have even a single visitation right, if the mother refuses the father contact.

Child Support

No matter what, both unmarried parents have to provide financial support to their child. The court will consider the income and responsibilities of each parent and accordingly, evaluate the contribution amount from each parent. Court also gives the provision to re-evaluate the contribution in case of a job loss or any change in circumstances.

All the rights mentioned here are valid if a paternity action is lodged, or Affidavit of Percentage is executed in the court. Unless the custody is answered to any party by the court, it remains in favor of the mother and the father has no right to visit him or her.

If the child spends most of his or her time with one parent, then the other parent has to pay the required support. If you believe that you owe your child’s custody or child support from the other parent, then you can pursue legal means to involve the court in the matter. It’s advisable to consult with any of the reputed Miami family law firms to avail the best guidance for legal proceeding in your favor.