A child custody order is a court judgment that sets two parents’ legal and physical custody rights to their shared children. While it is not mandatory to have one of these court orders issued after separating with a partner, many unmarried parents like to have one in place to protect themselves and their children from the other party’s actions.
If you and your ex-partner have a child together, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced custody attorney about your legal rights. Get in touch with our firm to learn more about the importance of child custody orders for unmarried parents in New Haven.
Families are not required to have child custody orders put in place if the parents are unmarried. However, it is mandatory for married parents seeking a divorce. Any custody order filed with the court will remain in effect until the child turns 18 or one party files a motion to modify the order. Anyone who is unsure of their custodial rights should consult with a knowledgeable local attorney right away.
In the absence of a court order, as long as both parents are listed on the child’s birth certificate, they each have parental rights. Both parties are equally entitled to spend time with the child, live with them, or relocate. It is important to note that neither parent has an obligation to pay child support in this scenario.
If the mother chooses not to list the father on the birth certificate, he will have no legal rights to the child. To combat this, a father may ask his child’s mother to file an acknowledgment of paternity to establish his parental rights. An attorney in the New Haven area can help unmarried fathers establish paternity and request a custody order if necessary.
Without a court order, negotiating child custody can be challenging. If a dispute arises between two former partners, an attorney can help them execute a contract regarding legal and physical custody. However, this contract would not be enforceable by the court, as judges retain exclusive jurisdiction over determining custody.
Alternatively, a New Haven lawyer can help an unmarried parent file for custody to have a court order issued. Once an order is in place, no other custody agreement will supersede it that has not been approved by the court.
Depending on the parties’ relationship, it can prove beneficial to have a court custody order put in place, especially where one party is incapable or unwilling to effectively co-parent. Without a court order in place, one party may avoid financially contributing to the child’s upbringing or relocate the child without the other parent’s consent.
There are many benefits to child custody orders for unmarried parents in New Haven. To learn more about how our legal team can help you mitigate disagreements with your former partner, schedule a consultation today.