More and more couples are deciding to not get married or choose to hold off on it. This is usually for a variety of reasons. Some couples in a committed relationship do not feel the need to get married as a sign of commitment to each other. They feel marriage is an outdated system. Many couples are actually choosing to wait until they are much older to get hitched. Other couples may be concerned about the divorce rate being around 50%. Whether a couple stays unhitched due to these reasons, or perhaps for other reasons, couples are still choosing to have children.
Many people would imagine that if a couple chose to have a child, but not get married, then the girl is probably extremely young, most likely a teen. This may be true for some cases, but a majority of unmarried parents are adults in committed relationships. The decision to not get married has an impact on the parents’ legal rights.
The laws and rights that pertain to parents vary from state to state, but usually couples who are not married have less rights than those who are. Being an unmarried couple can create a challenge when dealing with the legal system. If you are an unmarried couple it is definitely important to make sure you know your state’s laws. You would never want to be in a situation where you lose custody of your child simply because you are unfamiliar with the rights you have according to what state you live in.
Even though it is extremely common for couples to live with each other, there are still states that do not allow unmarried couples to live together. People living in these states with extreme laws are forbidden to claim their partner as a dependent on their income tax. This may create a financial struggle for couple trying to raise a child. This can be even more difficult if one parent does not work, raises the kids, or if the partners in the relationship do not have a high salary. These couples are also limited in insurance coverage and other benefits.
In order to protect yourself and your rights, you must fill out paperwork after you have your child. Both parents should be on the child’s birth certificate. If a couple plans to raise a child together, but the child is only biologically related to one parent, then the other partner in the relationship should fill out adoption papers for this child. This is the only way that they will have legal rights. This may be an expensive and long process, but it is definitely better to be protected in case anything happens than to not be at all, and risk losing your child.
As a couple that is unmarried with a child, it is definitely important to take extra steps to make sure that your child is protected. Planning for your child’s future is key, especially when it comes to finances.
Nobody want to plan for a break up, but the reality is that it does happen. Whether you are married or not, when a child is involved, you are going to have to try to get along, and come to civil terms when it comes to visitation, custody, and support. At the end of the day, you want what is best for your child. It is important to work together for the best interest of your child. If you cannot come to terms with custody, how often a parent has visitation, or child support, you are going to have to leave the dispute to the court. This is why it is so important to make sure that you protect your rights while you and your partner are together.
If both parents are legal parents of the child, then your situation will most likely be handled the same way that a divorced married couple is handled. The court is always going to judge the situation based off of what is in the best interest of the child. In most states, the court will claim that both parents get custody. In every state, each parent will have to support their child. How much money that goes to child support is all dependent on how much each parent makes and spends on housing.
If a couple breaks up and only one of the parents is the legal parent, then the other person in the partnership is going to have very few rights at all. It doesn’t even matter if this parent helped raise and take care of the kid for years. Some states allow for a second- parent adoption. You are definitely going to want to contact a family law attorney if you are in a situation where you want visitation rights or partial custody. This is why it is extremely important to have an understanding of your state’s laws so a situation where you are fighting for the rights to see your child do not occur.
Whether a couple decides to get married or not, at the end of the day, if they chose to have a child it is always important to keep in mind what is best for that child.
Source: Legal Zoom