Some may not realize it, but child custody issues can arise between parents whether they are married or not. Without the benefit of marriage, however, these can be even more complex from a legal perspective. To provide more clarification, a child custody attorney in Lubbock, TX offers some important details to understand about child custody disputes between non-married parents.
The majority of child custody disputes between unwed parents arise around paternity matters. When a couple is married, this husband is always legally presumed to be the child’s father. However, with an unmarried couple, this presumption doesn’t exist. Therefore, a parent must take extra steps to establish paternity. Once paternity has been established, this will help the father get custody rights or visitation, and this will also initiate child support orders.
Having the father’s name on the birth certificate is a good starting point for proving paternity. The father should also fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, have it notarized, and submit it to the Central Paternity Registry.
If the mother challenges paternity, a genetic test is the next logical step to prove whether the man in question is indeed the biological father of the child.
When involved in a custody disagreement, it’s important to remember that a child support order is not the same thing as a visitation or custody arrangement. So basically, just because someone pays child support doesn’t mean that they get visitation time or even custody rights. These two matters are separate, and each requires its legal filings.
For any unwed father that is seeking custody of their child or visitation rights, a family law attorney’s guidance can be a tremendous help. They will explore the available legal options and work to establish paternity to open more possibilities in the case.
When in need of a child custody attorney in Lubbock, TX, turn to Kyra Blankenship, Attorney at Law. She has been practicing law in Texas since 1995. The team here is trustworthy, tenacious, and dedicated. To schedule a free initial consultation or to get additional information about the services offered, Click Here.