When a child is born to unmarried parents, the state typically grants full child custody to the mother automatically. This means that from the moment of birth the mother is the sole, legal decision maker for the child. By having full custody, the mother is also able to have the child live with her full-time. It’s at this point you should realize that you need a child custody lawyer to help you get everything legal. Even if you think things are fine, they can blow up in a flash.
Make Sure You Establish Paternity
For the father of the child to receive any parental rights, he must first establish paternity. To be recognized as a parent, he is required to complete a DNA test proving biological paternity, and must also sign a formalized document stating that he is the father shortly after the child is born.
Child Support and Child Custody
An unmarried father who has established paternity now shares the mother’s responsibilities in providing proper care for the child. These duties can include providing financial assistance for the child through child support. If the mother files a motion for the court to decide on child support payments, a judge can step in and determine what amount of monetary support is appropriate. Similar to married couples, child support payments will be determined based on both parents’ incomes and the best interests of the child.
If a father would like to increase time spent with the child, he can also file for a court order to increase visitation. However, the unmarried father must have established paternity before seeking any visitation or custodial rights.
Do You Need a Divorce?
A divorce can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved, but especially for kids. If you have children and are in the process of going through a divorce, you should consider the following tips.
Listed below are some tips to help you protect your kids from your divorce and ensure your children’s well-being during divorce. Talk to them. It is important to talk to your kids about the divorce. Let them know what’s going on, and make sure they know it is not their fault and that they are not going to lose their parents. Keep the divorce private. Don’t post public messages on social media outlets, talk loudly on the phone to your lawyer or friends, or leave adversarial papers around your house for the kids to see. Children are naturally curious, so while you don’t need to lie or sneak around, be careful about what you expose them to.
Don’t bring the kids into it. Sadly, many parents feel the need to appeal to their children to back them up in arguments or act as a spy on the other parent. This is one of the most unfair things you can do to your child. Don’t let it get in the way of parenting. Nothing should cause you to neglect your role as a parent. During a divorce, your kids need you more than ever. Continue to be communicative and affectionate with them. Keep yourself healthy. The stress of a divorce can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. You cannot take care of your kids without first taking care of yourself. Try to exercise more and eat healthy during your divorce.
Free Consultation with Child Support Lawyer
If you have a question about child support or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506