Child custody cases are often thrown into the same pot as divorce; however, not all child custody matters have to do with a divorce. When parents aren’t married when the child is born, child custody matters can still occur. While these child custody cases are largely the same as those that occur because of a divorce, there are a few difference.
One of the main differences that occurs when the child’s parents aren’t married at the time of the child’s birth is that the father will have to establish paternity. This can include having a DNA test done so that paternity is legally established. We know that having to go through the process of establishing paternity can be stressful, but we are here to help you learn your options so that you can move forward with your plans to seek visitation or custody.
Once paternity is legally established, making plans for the child can commence. If the father and mother can work together, it is sometimes possible to establish a parenting plan. That plan can lay out the visitation schedule and other aspects of child custody. In some cases, the parents might need help to come up with the parenting plan. This might include mediation, which is another facet of child custody that we can help you explore.
In some cases, the parents might be unable to agree. Going to court becomes necessary when that happens. We can help you to learn your options for seeking custody and visitation so that you know what to expect if you have to go to court.