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An unmarried father must establish his paternity and arrange for a custody hearing if he wants custody.

Generally, if the parents are unmarried the mother has sole custody and control in most states until the father can establish his paternity. Remember, a child's mother can always be identified by medical records. Since the father didn't give birth and he was not legally married at the time of the birth he must establish his paternity by signing the birth certificate at the time of birth (waiving DNA testing rights) which must be done with mother's consent. If he doesn't sign the birth certificate then he must seek another way to establish his paternity and that is done through a DNA test.

A paternity test can be arranged through the court. Once paternity has been established the father can request visitations, joint custody or full custody. If the father desires a visitation schedule he can request that the court issue a visitation schedule. The court will also issue a child support order if the child is to remain in the custody of her mother. The court will schedule a hearing and issue orders that are in the best interest of the child.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-04 18:43:37
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Q: Does an unwed father have custody rights?
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