Unmarried Parents Visitation

Mother holding child and excluding the father from child's life.

When parents are not married the father has rights – including the right to be involved in the child’s life but he may have to go to Court to enforce those rights.

Even in a case in which the father’s identity is not in dispute, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney.  In a paternity suit, the Court will not only determine the father’s identity, it will establish child support, set visitation schedules, and assign rights and duties (this is where the Court says otherwise to the general rule that Mom and Dad are equal until the court says otherwise).  More important, it is the Father’s duty to ask the Court for conservatorship and access to the child being supported.  Mom is not likely to bring it up and if the case is initiated by the Office of the Attorney General – the OAG cannot get involved in the custody issues.  Accordingly, the OAG will only ask for financial support and the mother  asking for support will not ask for custody orders unless she has  fear (rational or not) that the father will attempt to remove the child from her possession – after all, why give up the power when she does not have to do so.

And do not think the Attorney General will handle this part automatically, the AG has only one obligation, get the money. Therefore, it is up to you, the putative father to seek out your rights.

An experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a mother or father under a variety of circumstances including:

  • Conservatorship issues after the end of a relationship between unmarried parents
  • Nonbiological father’s rights
  • Disputes between biological fathers and the mother’s family that affect access to children
  • Child support enforcement or modification issues
  • Interstate or international parental relocation proposals
  • Adoption and issues relating to termination of a biological father’s parental rights

The resolution of these problems can be expected to depend on how well each single parent can demonstrate that his or her proposed objective will affect the interests of the children. Our lawyers can help you develop your goals and present your case in terms that will show your commitment to a strong relationship with your child.