Custody issues for unmarried parents
Not every child custody issue that makes its way into the courts of Illinois is based on a divorce. In fact, many unmarried couples face custody struggles when they cannot come to terms with how to share their time with their kids. Although unmarried parents can create their own child-focused custody agreements and have those agreements approved by the courts, in some cases differences between the parents prevent them from creating their own parenting plans.
Custody matters can turn based on who is recognized as a biological parent of a child. A mother is easily identified as a parent through her inclusion on a child’s birth certificate. However, if a man is not named on a child’s birth certificate, or if he does not acknowledge his paternity of a child after the birth, then he may run into problems if he later wants to fight for custody rights. Therefore, paternity testing may become an issue in a custody matter between unmarried parents.
Some people may claim that custody matters outside of divorce are easier to resolve than those handled pursuant to divorces because the parties do not need to settle financial or property-based issues as well. While this is generally true, these facts do not diminish the stress and struggle that parents experience when they attempt to fight for the best interests of their kids.
When approaching a child custody situation, a parent may wish to seek help to ensure that their needs and preferences are acknowledged. Unmarried parents can use the services of family law attorneys to guide them through the challenging world of child custody and to help them fight for their rights in the courts of Illinois.