How Does Custody Work with Unmarried Parents?

When most people hire a child custody attorney Phoenix AZ offers, it’s because they are going through a divorce or have already divorced. These cases often involve custody decisions between the two parents while dissolving the marriage. However, there are some cases in which the parents were never married and there is no divorce process to clear up custody issues.

In these cases, hiring a Phoenix child custody attorney may simplify the process of deciding custody and visitation of unmarried parents. If you are anticipating or dealing with a child custody case, call Hildebrand Law, PC today for your child custody consultation.

Who Gets Custody When Parents Aren’t Married?

Most states have their own laws stating that the mother gets sole custody of any children when the parents aren’t married. A father may have a chance to win custody if he can prove that the mother is unfit.

In cases where the mother is a good parent, the father may work with a child custody attorney Phoenix AZ fathers rely on to help win some custody and/or visitation rights.

Custody Disputes

Custody disputes involving unmarried parents are often a lot like disputes between divorcing couples. As a couple, if you can decide on an agreeable arrangement, you have that option. If you can’t decide on something that works for both of you, a family court judge may decide for you.

A child custody attorney Phoenix AZ parents trust may tell you that unlike divorcing couples, you won’t face spousal support or division of property. Instead, your case will likely focus only on custody and may be much simpler than a divorce case.

When you’re ready to move forward with a custody dispute, a child custody attorney in Phoenix AZ may be able to help you.

Who is the Primary Caretaker?

In any child custody case, the court usually tries to determine who the primary caretaker of the child or children has been prior to the custody dispute. This is especially the case with unmarried parents. Some of the factors include various childcare responsibilities for the child or children.

Your child custody attorney Phoenix AZ respects may have a detailed list for you to look at, and you may even want to add your own responsibilities. Some items on the list may be:

  • Feeding
  • Changing diapers
  • Preparing meals
  • Dressing
  • Laundry
  • Bathing
  • Putting to bed
  • Helping with homework
  • Transport to and from school
  • Transport to and from extracurricular activities
  • Taking to the doctor and dentist
  • Cleaning and maintaining home
  • Playing

You can go down the list with your lawyer and specify which parent is responsible for which activity, or if the responsibility is shared. The parent who is responsible for the most number of items is often considered the primary caretaker.

Child Custody Case Review

As you may already know, child custody disputes can be stressful, emotional, and complicated. If you are an unmarried couple and the two of you can’t agree on custody or visitation, you may want to take the matter to family court. Call a child custody attorney Phoenix AZ at Hildebrand Law, PC at 480-305-8300 today.