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California Family Law on Child Custody of Unmarried Parents

California Family Law on Child Custody of Unmarried ParentsCalifornia child custody laws can apply differently to married and unmarried parents. Generally, however, parents who are unmarried are granted many of the same rights as parents who are married. Ultimately, family law courts in California will establish the best child custody arrangement that benefits the child, whether this involves one parent or both. If you are considering a separation, obtain the support of an experienced family law attorney who is well-versed in child custody cases. The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP can help.

The family law attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are highly experienced in cases involving separation, divorce, child custody, and support. To determine what type of custody arrangement is best for you and your family, consider contacting the proficient attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP. To schedule a free consultation with the law firm and learn more about how to protect your parental rights, call (909) 894-0812 or complete the online contact form here.

Child Custody in California

In California, child custody refers to the parental rights a person may hold to have the custody of a child. Child custody entails having the legal responsibility of bringing up a child in a healthy environment. In simpler terms, child custody refers to the legal responsibility of a child.

The responsibility associated with legal custody can involve the child’s:

  • Living arrangements,
  • Education and medical decision making, and
  • Protection from exploitation and abuse.

Custody Rights For Parents Who Are Unmarried

Maternal Rights

Under the law, mothers automatically gain the custodial rights of a child when unwed. Mothers do not have to take legal action to defend their parental rights, even when the courts are determining the father’s role in the child’s life. The child’s mother will gain those rights without court order by birth. Unmarried mothers have full legal responsibility for their child’s wellbeing, which includes where the child will attend school, what type of medical care he or she will receive, and where the child will live.

Paternal Rights

When the father is not married, his priority is to prove his paternity of the child. If the father cannot establish that he is the legal father, it will be very difficult for him to obtain legal rights and set the child’s living arrangements. Only when the Father asks to exercise his rights, will his rights be established, once his paternity is formally established via a court order.

Once the father has been able to establish his paternity, he will be able to make important decisions with the mother regarding their child’s wellbeing. The father will be able to request visitation rights, may be able to obtain or pay out child support, and establish other arrangements for the child.

Obtain the Qualified Support of a Skilled Family Law Attorney

Family law courts in California must work to ensure the decisions they make are in the best interests of the children involved and this may involve awarding custody to one parent or both. If you are facing a separation, consider obtaining the support of a qualified attorney who can advocate on your behalf.

The family law attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are exceptionally skilled in representing clients facing contentious child custody cases. Child custody cases can be highly complex, particularly when the parents are unmarried. To learn more about how the law firm can advocate on your behalf in a challenging family law matter, consider dialing (909) 894-0812 or complete the online contact form here.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.