Unmarried Parents and Parenting Time
When couples divorce, there are clear legal rights for each parent, unless there is a reason one of the parents should not spend time with the child or children. But, if you were never married, it is not safe to assume you will receive fair parenting time. But there are paths for unmarried parents to pursue parenting rights.
To fully understand your rights as a parent, connect with a Bucks County family attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you to navigate your circumstances, whether you are a father who was never married to your child’s mother but still want to establish parenting time or if you are an unmarried parent who is seeking child support payments.
Deciding to Fight for Parenting Time
There are many examples of fathers who are not sure if they should pursue parenting time because they were never married to their child’s mother. They wonder if they have rights and what level of expenses will be incurred should they move forward with a parenting request.
In truth, provided the father is not a risk to the safety of the child, it is likely the courts will see a dad wanting to be present in a child’s life as a positive. Studies have illustrated that children are more likely to thrive when both of their parents are loving and involved. Plus, it is possible you will be legally responsible for some level of financial contribution, so it makes sense to pursue your wish for emotional connection.
When a father decides to pursue parenting time, paternity will need to be established if it hasn’t been already. There are a few ways to establish paternity in the state of Pennsylvania. A skilled Bucks County family attorney can walk you through the process.
- Both the mother and father can voluntarily sign a form that acknowledges paternity. This is often done at the hospital when a child is born.
- Father can obtain a form from the county that acknowledges paternity.
- If a court moves to establish paternity, they could order a DNA test.
Genetic tests can be complex. There are times when dads acknowledge paternity so no genetic test is needed, in other situations fathers want a genetic test to prove a biological connection.
It is best to have a legal professional on your side throughout the paternity process, because once it is established, there could be a court order for child support. And this responsibility to financially support a child’s upbringing does not immediately mean parenting time will be established. A seasoned attorney will be sure that all of the correct legal work is filed and they can protect your rights as a parent, fighting for you to have a reasonable amount of parenting time.
Are you an unmarried parent who wants to legally establish parenting time? The family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Our dedicated legal team understands the finer points of family law. There are opportunities to create the life you want. Schedule your free consultation today, call 215-968-6602.