In Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County, child custody cases can be very complex. But when the parents are unmarried and choose to split, it can be even more complicated. When a child is born and the parents are unmarried, child custody is automatically given to the mother. The father would have to specifically request custody through the courts. Let’s look at the rights of both the mother and the father when it comes to unmarried parents.
Child Custody for Unmarried Parents: What are the Rights of the Mother in Arvada?
As I mentioned above, when unmarried parents are no longer together, the mother is automatically awarded custody and therefore all parental responsibilities belong to the mom. This means all decision making belongs to the mother, including:
· Living situation
· Child care
· Extracurricular activities
It is usually beneficial for mothers to get some sort of formal agreement in place to prevent an ugly child custody case later down the line. An experienced Arvada child custody attorney can advise you on how to best proceed to protect your rights as a single mother.
Rights of the Father for Unmarried Parents in Wheat Ridge
Paternity is a major factor for an unmarried father when determining child custody. If the father is named on the birth certificate, then he can legally ask for the same rights as the mother in a Wheat Ridge child custody case. If the father’s name is not on the birth certificate, then paternity must be established before requesting any formal custody of the children. It’s equally important for fathers to get a formal agreement in place protecting their access and relationship with their children.
Child Support and Unmarried Parents: What are the Rules?
It is necessary for parents to financially provide for their children, whether they were once married or not. The court uses a formula to determine how much the non-custodial parent should pay the custodial parent. Often if the mother is requesting child support payments through the court, paternity will need to be established before the court will require the father to pay.