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Father's Rights for Unmarried Couples

Thursday, March 02, 2017
Father's Rights for Unmarried Couples

Father’s rights and child custody laws can be overwhelmingly complex, especially if you’re an unmarried couple. Unmarried fathers face additional legal challenges in establishing their paternity and gaining their rights.

The first thing to take into consideration is whether or not you’re listed as a father on the child’s birth certificate. If not, you will need to take action to establish that, which sometimes can be done through tests or even through adoption. That’s why you should always try to be there at birth and get yourself registered.

Once you’re listed as a legal father, you will usually be obligated to support the child, just like any biological father. However, if you’ve never been married, and you’re living separately, you may have to fight for your custodial rights or even visitation rights. Mothers, on the other hand, will assume physical and custodial rights over the child at birth.

Ultimately, the courts will look for what’s in the child’s best interests. They may test you for your psychological ability to sustain the child. You can propose visitation and custodial agreements, but there’s no guarantee that they will be agreed to by the courts.

Another potential challenge is if the mother puts the child up for adoption. You will have to file a court action to block the adoption if you don’t want it to go through. You will have to be established as the father, and you might have to prove yourself by supporting the child financially and keeping a positive connection with the child.

All of these cases are bound to be too complex for you to handle by yourself. Given the nature of these cases and how much the outcome will affect your life, you should really contact a lawyer to help you out.


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