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What Are the Rights of Unmarried Parents to Their Children?

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Child Custody Rights of Unmarried Parents in California

If you are an unmarried parent in California, you may be wondering what your rights and responsibilities are concerning your child. This blog will discuss child custody, the father's right to their children if they are not married to the mother, and how custody is handled in California regarding unmarried parents. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is important to ensure that your child is taken care of in the best way possible.

Types of Custody in California

  • Legal custody - Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about your child's welfare, including their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
  • Physical custody - Physical custody refers to shared living agreements and caretaking duties.

What are the Rights of Unmarried Fathers to Their Children?

In California, a father has the same rights to his child as the child's mother, even if they are not married. If a father wants custody or visitation with his child, he must establish paternity.

Establishing Paternity

For an unmarried father to establish his paternity, he must either acknowledge paternity on the child's birth certificate or establish paternity through a court order. Once paternity has been established, the father has the same legal rights as the mother regarding custody and visitation.

Custody Arrangements for Unmarried Parents in California

Custody arrangements for unmarried parents can be either of the following:

  • Joint - Both parents share equally in decision-making and parenting time.
  • Sole - Only one parent has legal and physical custody of the child.

There is no presumption of joint or sole legal custody for unmarried parents in California. According to Family Code 3020, the court will consider what is in the child's best interest when deciding custody. The court will look at factors such as each parent's relationship with the child, each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs, each parent's mental and physical health, any history of domestic violence, and any substance abuse issues.

It is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding your child. If you have questions about child custody or want more information, our attorneys at Stolar Law Group are here to help you navigate this process. Contact us online or give us a call. (818) 600-6534

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