Family Law Blog

Obtaining Custody as an Unmarried Father

Thursday, August 15, 2019

father and daughter

Unfortunately, if a father is not married to the mother of his child, he doesn't come with the same inherit parental rights. In many cases, parental rights between two unmarried people are worked out away from the courtroom, but this doesn't mean they are legally binding.

If you are an unmarried father, you need to take steps to get your legal rights. The first course of action is for both the father and mother to sign the birth certificate. Once this happens, you will legally be entitled to parental rights.

If the mother refuses to put your name on a birth certificate, unfortunately, you will need to go to court. You can file with the court to have an official paternity test done. This will make your paternal rights legally binding. After paternity is officially established in the eyes of the court, the father can then seek to have custody of their child. In most courts, they believe in having two parents in a child's life. Unless the mother can prove that the father would provide a somehow dangerous environment, at very least visitation will be granted.

Unfortunately, if you don't wish to go to court and a mother will not sign acknowledgment of paternity, then there is not much you can do without legal intervention. Unless you go to court, it means both you as the father and your family will have no legal rights to visitation of your child.

If you are an unwed father and want to be in your child's life, contact us today. The family law system often seems greatly unfair to fathers, but that is not the case if the father is willing to go through the court system for their rights. The courts always consider the best interest of a child, and often that means having a relationship with both parents.