February 3, 2020

Child Custody For Unmarried Parents

In a divorce the law clearly and adequately covers separation of two parties. However, when it comes to unmarried parents’ things can tend to get murky and much of which becomes a gray area. Splitting assets can be messy for two unmarried people who are living together. Things get even more complicated when dealing with child custody for unmarried parents. There are many issues that can arise in a custody battle for children born out of wedlock and it can affect the rights of the parents, mainly the man’s rights to the child when the parents are unmarried. A man can be severely dampened in the role he plays in the child’s day to day decision making and things of that nature. 


A biological father and a legitimate father are two different concepts in the eyes of the law. A biological father is simply the man who biologically holds the title of father to the child because he is responsible for their existence. In a legal sense you either are the biological father or you are not. A legitimate father is more of a legal term that determines that the man is the child’s dad. This means that the man is involved and participating in an active capacity to the child’s life and wellbeing. 


When it comes to the legal rights a father holds to the child born out of wedlock, they are drastically reduced to that of a married couple. For example, if an issue arises and the mother leaves there is very little you can do to make her move back aside from filing a court action which can be lengthy. The best way to handle this issue is to file for legitimation of the child. This will give you equal legal rights to the child, similar to the biological mother. With a legitimation claim you will be on equal ground to the mother and you are legally recognized as the child’s legitimate father. A legitimation moves the father from the biological father to the legal father and is given equal rights to the mother. 


It is important to handle this issue as soon as possible. If you wait until it’s too late and you fall into bad terms with the child’s mother things can become far more complicated. It is also incredibly important for the father to stay active in the child’s life if the parents separate, because in separating yourself from the child you will have a much harder case in proving legitimation. 


When it comes to unmarried parents splitting up and one party trying to take the child and moving elsewhere the mother can do so, however, if the father does and has no legitimation claim to legally determine his right to the child, the police can be called for kidnapping. A legitimation claim can usually be pretty cut and dry. It usually goes smoothly unless there are hiccups along the way, which is why it is recommended to do it while both parties are still in good terms. So long as you can prove you are the biological father through DNA testing you should not have a hard time proving this claim.


A mother could just as well deal with issues pertaining to children born out of wedlock. If the parents are living together and the father decides one day to leave the question arises for mom is if she should still allow him to visit. After all he did abandon his family. It will look bad to the court if you try and deny the father access to his child out of your anger. You have every right to be angry, but in the eyes of the court you have no right to punish the father parenting time. You must separate you from your child. 


In conclusion, if you have a child born out of wedlock and are currently living with the other parent, great! However, for your legal safety and the right to remain a parent to your child you should file a legitimation claim to your child. It is always better to be safe than sorry and the last thing you want is to be put into a situation that could have been prevented. If you are facing this issue contact The Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. today.