Today, many couples have children without getting married. When this type of relationship ends, problems can arise regarding custody, visitation and support. It would be wonderful if the couple can agree on these issues, but that is not always the case. In order to make it work, you must obtain a court order.
A mother normally does not have to prove that the child is hers when a birth certificate is issued upon the birth. She will automatically be entitled to full custody – if there is no court order indicating otherwise. It is up to her to give the father visitation rights.
If the father accepts paternity, the court will decide custody, visitation and support. If he denies paternity, he may request a DNA test. If the father wants rights to custody, he could file a Petition to Establish Parentage and an Order to Show Cause for custody, visitation and support.
The court’s first priority is to determine what is in the child’s best interest. This can become a long and expensive process.
If you are facing issues after the birth of your child out of wedlock, I suggest you contact an experienced Orange County Family Law attorney who will protect your rights and those of your child.