Unmarried parents in San Jose like you may decide one day that it is best if you go your separate ways. But what about your child? Matters of child custody are not handled the same way for unwed couples as they are for those who have been married.
FindLaw takes a look at how child custody decisions are made if the parents of the child are unwed. In most states, sole physical custody will be awarded to the mother of the child. If you and the child’s father are unwed, and you are proven to be a good mother, chances of winning custody are extremely slim.
On the other hand, unwed fathers can still take action to secure both visitation rights and a form of custody, even if sole physical custody is likely out of their reach. In order to reach an agreeable conclusion on visitation rights or other custody-related issues, some families are able to work things out outside of court. Sometimes, third-party professional mediators are brought in to aid with this.
In other situations, however, you may need to go to a family court. There, a judge will be able to hear both sides and make decisions on custody matters according to what they believe is in the best interest of the child. Not having to deal with issues like alimony or asset division will usually help to speed this process along. However, having an attorney can still be helpful since they know the ins and outs of court and can help you prepare your case well.