Child custody issues can be stressful and challenging to work out, regardless of whether the parents are married. Unmarried parents do have some unique family law challenges to get through, however.
For instance, when a couple is married and a child is born, both parents automatically are granted parental rights for the child. This is not always the case with unmarried parents—particularly the father of a child who is not married to the mother. Read on for more information about California custody laws for unmarried parents.
When a child is born to unmarried parents, the birth mother will be given custody of the child. If the father is not married to the mother, then the father does not have legal rights regarding that child until parentage is established.
This is also true of same-sex couples who agree to raise a child. The woman who gave birth to the child will be granted rights concerning the child, but the other woman will not have the same rights until parentage has been established.
If you are concerned about your parental rights, you can request a court-ordered paternity or parentage test. You can also request that parentage be established so that, moving forward, both parents will have legal rights to the child.
Note that California law recognizes both people in a registered domestic partnership as parents of a child born to them.
Laws pertaining to parental rights can be complex, especially in cases where a person wants to adopt a child who isn’t biologically related to them. You may want to speak to an attorney if you are dealing with custody and parental rights issues.
Reach out to the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock to speak to an attorney about establishing parentage or to get more information about California custody laws for unmarried parents. Call 909-466-7661 or fill out the online contact form below.