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Custody and child support for non-married parents

In the past, the vast majority of child custody cases were the result of parents seeking a divorce. However, disputes over custody and child support frequently involve unmarried parents who are seeking equitable parenting time with their children. There are likely many California families who are attempting to find a workable plan of their own.

Since families each have their own unique characteristics, each custody agreement must ensure that the needs of the children and the parties involved are met in the best possible manner. When unmarried parents are working to form a custody and support agreement, it may prove easier than when these plans are mixed in with the dissolution of a marriage. When a divorce is not an issue, the parents do not have any other issues to resolve and can focus only on the needs of the child.

In the case of parents who never married, a court will typically grant physical custody to the child's mother -- provided she has not proved to be an unfit parent. In these cases, however, a father can petition for his share of custody and involvement in his child's life. If the parents are able to draft a suitable parenting plan, a court can affirm those plans. However, in cases where parents are unable to work together, the court will decide custody and set any child support payments based on the information the parents can provide.

There are other circumstances when a non-parent may seek to gain either custody or visitation rights of a child. For instance, each state, including California, has its own laws regarding the rights of grandparents to seek visitation of their grandchildren. In other cases, a non-relative may seek to gain custody of a child, which is more commonly referred to as guardianship. Families that are struggling to resolve custody or child support issues may seek the input of a family law professional.

Source: findlaw.com, "Custody and Visitation in Non-Divorce Cases", Accessed on July 21, 2017

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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