If a Father is Unwed, Can They Receive Child Custody?

How does Stepparent Adoption work in California?If you are an unwed father and the mother is denying you rights to your child, you may be able to receive rights. To obtain custody and visitation, you will have to file for a paternity suit. Today we will walk you through your options and how you can move forward.

Filing Your Petition 

First, you will have to speak with your attorney about filing a petition. The petition will begin your lawsuit and set everything into motion. What you want to tell the court is that you are an unwed father who wants to have rights with your child because you believe it is in their best interest as well as yours. If your name is on the birth certificate, this process may not be as difficult as it seems. However, all hope is not lost if it is not, and you can still become the “presumed father” of the child.

When the petition is filed, you will have the mother of your child serviced. She will have the opportunity to respond to the petition and confirm or deny it. If she denies that you are the father, you will have the right to request a DNA test to prove that you are the child. If a positive test result comes about, the suit will move forward.

Making Your Case

Of course, if you have had an ongoing relationship with the child, this will look best to the courts. Perhaps the mother of your child has negatively raised the child, such as subjecting them to boyfriends with criminal histories, substance abuse problems, or child neglect. You can sit down with your attorney and talk about your parenting strengths and show your history of parenting the child in the past. Perhaps, in doing so, you will be able to gain some type of visitation with your child, or custody depending on the circumstances.

No matter what happens, there is always room for modification. Move forward with the help of your attorney and see what happens, with useful information provided to the court. We can help you make your case if you are an unwed parent who wants rights to your child. Call us.