Not all couples in Michigan decide to marry. Some do not believe in marriage, some cannot afford it, and others simply decide to invest their money in other things. Whatever your reasons, you can still live just as happy a life even if you never choose to get married.
However, one thing that is important to bear in mind is that if you and your partner separate, then matters may not be as clear cut as they would if you were married. This is especially the case where child custody is concerned particularly if you have no legal parental rights. This may not be as much of an issue if you and your partner agree to continue sharing the care of the children. However, if a dispute arises, you may have to rely upon a court decision.
Mother’s Rights & Sole Custody for Unmarried Parents
Typically, when unmarried parents choose to split, the mother is awarded sole custody unless the child’s father takes legal action. Unmarried fathers will have to established paternity of their children before they can secure visitation or custody rights. Establishing parental rights can be complicated as you need to first establish legal paternity and then prove to the family courts that you have the means to care for your child. At Garton & Vogt, our Macomb County family lawyer can help you every step of the way.
As this article on custody decisions explains, several parties can become involved in custody decisions depending on the family composition and the relationships between the children and their family members. Sometimes grandparents or even other individuals may be awarded custody. In cases where parents are not married, if the father does not actively seek custody, it is generally awarded to the mother.
This can become more complicated if you are unmarried, and you are also not the biological parent of the children. Even so, all is not lost! There are several factors taken into consideration during custody rulings, so with the right guidance and support, you might be able to secure the right to continue being part of your children's lives, even if you are not related to them by blood.
Get help today with your child custody case, contact our Macomb County Child Custody Attorneys! (586) 335-4394