Having a baby is a joyous and miraculous occasion. Especially, when you get to hold your child in your arms for the first time and they squeeze your finger with their little hand.
It’s enough to take anyone’s breath away.
But what happens if the parents are unmarried at the time of their child’s birth.
What then? Who has rights over the child?
After giving birth, this is clearly far from one’s mind because you don’t want anything to soil such a joyous occasion.
But life happens and things need to be decided.
When unmarried parents have a baby, there are a lot of questions about the role each parent will have in the child’s life.
There are some specific legal rights and steps that need to be taken to ensure both parents have their say in raising the child.
Let’s go over the basics of what unmarried parents need to know about their rights and responsibilities at birth.
What Needs To Be Done To Secure Equal Right For Both
Unmarried parents at birth often have unequal rights, with the mother typically having more rights than the father.
In California, the State has specific guidelines that determine custody.
Specifically, unmarried mothers have full custody of the child…plain and simple. They don’t need to take any type of legal action to gain custody of their children born out of wedlock.
This can be due to a number of factors, including the fact that the mother is typically the primary caregiver and is more likely to have a stronger bond with the child.
In addition, fathers may not take an active role in parenting if they’re not married to the mother, or if they’re not economically stable.
So what can a father do to get parental rights?
They need to establish legal paternity…even if their name is on the birth certificate!
If an unmarried father wants to have parental rights over the child, it’s important for them to take steps to secure their rights, such as establishing paternity through a DNA test or by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form.
Once paternity has been established, unmarried fathers typically have the same rights as married fathers, including the right to child custody and visitation.
In some cases, unmarried fathers may also be ordered to pay child support.
By taking these steps, unmarried fathers can ensure that they have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to their children.
They can also petition the Court for full custody of the child if they feel the mother is unfit. This can open up a whole can of worms.
How does a mother fight these allegations?
Be the best mother she can be and always put the safety and well-being of your child first.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to unmarried parents and their rights.
If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing you can do is speak with a family law attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights as a parent are protected.
Need help with securing your parental rights?
Contact me today…I will help guide you toward the best solution!