Do unwed fathers have a right to custody?

When you aren't married, it can make obtaining custody much harder if you are the father of a child. Why? It's because the mother is the only guaranteed parent.

As an unmarried father, there are steps you can take to make sure you can see your child. For instance, you can ask for a paternity test or exercise your rights based on signing the child's birth certificate and an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

Unmarried parents are in a special position

Unmarried parents are in a special position because they don't have to fight over the kinds of things divorcing parents would. Instead, the only thing they have to worry about is how to divide their time with their children.

In most states, the mother is automatically granted full custody of a child unless the father takes action to prevent this. For instance, if you seek custody through the court and can prove your relationship to the child, the judge may allow you to have visitation or joint custody of the child. You'd have a parenting plan and visitation schedule just like any other family.

Usually, unwed fathers can't obtain full custody of their children unless they prove that the mothers are unfit. However, you can seek a fair share of time with your children. You deserve to see your children grow and change while participating in their lives. Your attorney can help you take steps to guarantee that you'll have a right to visitation or custody, so you can be there as the parent your child needs. The right legal process must be followed to exercise your rights.

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