How Do Child Custody Agreements Work With Unmarried Couples?
Family Lawyers Explain Custody Arrangements In Unmarried Couples
Often, child custody disputes arise between couples who have decided to divorce. However, there are many, many families that were created by unmarried couples. Sometimes, couples who share children decided against marriage, and sometimes these couples never wanted to be romantic partners at all.
When couples are unmarried, family courts will evaluate the issue of child custody a bit differently. IF you are not married to your co-parent, that’s why it is so important to work with an experienced family law lawyer to ensure that you get the custody arrangement that you feel is best for your family. Here’s what your family law lawyer will help you to understand about how the law treats unmarried couples in child custody cases:
Mother’s Rights In Child Custody
Typically, the mother of the child is automatically granted primary custody if the parents are not married. The mother would not only have physical custody of the children, but would also have legal custody, which would include the ability to make decisions concerning:
Place Of Residence
- Where the child attends school
- Child care programs, including after-school care and camps during school breaks
- Medical care, including dental and mental health care
- Sports and other extracurricular activities
- Vacations and travel
- Church attendance
While the law might automatically assume the mother has custody of the children in cases involving unmarried couples, it is not a foregone conclusion that the mother has all the rights. A good Tucson family law attorney can fight for the rights of the father and achieve an equitable child custody schedule.
Father’s Rights For Custody Arrangement
If a father’s name is listed on the child’s birth certificate, there is a much better chance that he will have equal footing with the mother in the courts. He will be able to fight for an equitable child custody arrangement more easily. However, it is always advisable to work with a Glendale family law lawyer to fight for a child custody arrangement, as many variables will still come into play.
If a father’s name is not listed on the child’s birth certificate, the fight may be a little tougher. To start, the man will have to prove that he’s the father by submitting to a paternity test. After that, he will have to prove his suitability as a parent.
It is highly unlikely that a man will be given primary custody of children, unless he can show that the mother is not fit. The courts will generally strive for a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child, and the assumption is that having a relationship with both parents is always in the best interests of the child. You will have to show otherwise if you want to get primary custody, and you will need to work closely with a child custody lawyer to do that. You will be in for a hard, legal fight if that is the outcome you want to pursue. However, if you have good reason to believe that your children will be better off in your care, it may be a fight you want to take on.
Work With a Top Child Custody Lawyer To Fight For Your Rights
Getting the custody agreement you want can be tricky in many cases, and it becomes even more complicated if you were never married to your co-parent. By working with an experienced family law lawyer, you can increase the chances that you will get the child custody agreement that you feel would be best for your family. Attempting to negotiate an agreement yourself could put your rights at risk – and spell disaster for your relationship with your children.
Hire a Reliable Family Attorney In Mesa, AZ
Call My AZ Lawyers today to talk with a dedicated child custody lawyer from our team. We’ll help you understand your rights and your legal options. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for you. We have offices in Mesa, Glendale, Tucson, and Phoenix. We offer free, same day consultations and the fastest filings possible to expedite your case. We also handle emergency filings where appropriate. We are committed to helping you get the best outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a family law lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
343 West Roosevelt, Suite #100
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Office: (602) 609-7000
20325 N 51st Avenue Suite #134, Building 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
12725 W. Indian School Rd., Ste E, #101
Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 469-6603