Believe it or not, about 1/3 of our family law cases are for unmarried parents. A question we hear all the time:
Do Unmarried Parents Have The Same Child Custody Rights As Married Parents?
Yes. The exact same laws that govern married parents govern unmarried parents as well. Determining parenting plans, child support, custody/visitation, and the rest apply whether the parents are married or not.
However, FATHERS DO NOT HAVE LEGAL RIGHTS until paternity is proven.
When deciding on child custody and support, courts consider the same factors in cases where the parents are divorcing, dissolving a domestic partnership, or otherwise separating.
In the end, the best interests of the child ALWAYS take precedence over all other concerns.