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Child Custody Services For Unmarried Parents

When a couple chooses to have a child out of wedlock, it is important for them to know that there are different sets of rules that can apply to their parenthood, especially for the father. It can be hard to understand and defend your rights in these cases, but with the help of a skilled family law attorney, it is possible.

At Maggio Law Orange County Divorce Attorneys, we have been representing clients throughout California with their family law needs. We have more than 50 years of combined experience in these matters, and we are fluent in the law surrounding your unique needs, especially for unmarried parents.

Child Custody In The Case Of Unmarried Parents In California

If a couple was unmarried when their child was born, only the mother has default custody of the child. Before the father has any kind of legal parental rights, they will need to establish paternity legally.

What Rights Do Unmarried California Fathers Have?

Because the mother is the only parent with defaulted custody of a child in California, the father does not have any rights to parenthood unless they establish paternity. If the father wishes, they can establish paternity by completing some paperwork.

How To Establish Paternity

If the parents of a child want a simple way of establishing paternity, both parents can complete a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP) form and submit it to the state. Otherwise, if the father is unwilling to sign the document or cooperate, a court order may be necessary to conduct a blood test to establish paternity.

Determining Child Custody And Child Support When The Parents Never Married

Before a father can be forced to pay child support or have access to legal custody of their child, they need to establish paternity. Once it has been established, however, the process of establishing child support payments and custody is largely similar to a married couple: either the unmarried parents can come to an agreement on their own, or they can go to court for a judge to decide for them.

Get The Guidance You Need As An Unmarried Parent

Whether you are a father trying to secure and defend your rights as a parent or you are trying to hold someone accountable to their obligations as a father, you need an experienced family lawyer at your side to earn the outcome you are looking for. Schedule your initial consultation at our office today by calling 949-227-3001 or emailing us here.