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Child Custody and Unmarried Parents

When a child is born to unwed parents in the state of California, this can make the issue of parental rights a challenging one. If the parents aren't married, the court makes each party responsible in different ways by default. If either party wishes to have their rights changed, they have to initiate a family court case. It is important to work with a family lawyer for this step due to the complexity of this matter. Our professionals at Embry Family Law will help you as you seek to adjust your legal rights as a parent.

Rights of a Mother

In cases where the parents of a child aren't married, the mother is granted sole custody. This gives her the right to make decisions on behalf of the child on her own. However, it also means that she is solely responsible for financially caring for the child unless a child support order is enacted. If she wishes to get child support from the father, she will need him to establish parentage of the child.

Rights of a Father

An unwed father must take certain steps to establish that he is the father if he wishes to exercise any rights. Even if he is listed on the birth certificate, this is not sufficient to have custody rights over the child. After a paternity test confirms that he is the father, he can then initiate a case with the family court to get custody status changed. At this time, he can also make requests regarding child support.

 

It is important to note that verbal agreements between the parents regarding child support, visitation, or any other aspect of the child’s life are not official or recognized by the court.

 

Child custody cases with unmarried parents are complex and require the expertise of a professional lawyer. Contact Embry Family Law firm for a consultation today at (619) 485-6476.