Unmarried with Children? Know Your Rights
In an ever evolving society, the standard is not always love, marriage, kids. Many times, the kids come first. Whether a marriage happens first, after, or not at all, children have the right to be supported by both of their parents, and to have a relationship with both of their parents. When a child is born of a relationship where the parents are not married, a special set of rules and laws applies.
Utah Valley paternity lawyer Matthew Brimley has been practicing family law for many years and has the knowledge and expertise to effectively handle your paternity and child custody case. Call the office today to schedule a consultation BRIMLEY FAMILY LAW, LLC at (801) 375-1100.
You’ve Got to Fight For Your Right to Father
In Utah, a case in the family court involving children born to an unmarried couple is typically entitled a paternity matter, unless an order for paternity has already been issued. If an order for paternity has not been issued, the court must formally issue an order determining the paternity of the child before the father will have any enforceable legal rights.
If the father of the child is not in question and is known, the father can acknowledge paternity, and the parties can proceed to the next stage of the case—establishing custody (legal decision-making), parenting time and/or child support. If the father of the child is unknown or paternity is questioned, it may be necessary to request DNA testing to verify the paternity of the child.
It is important to remember that the rules and laws regarding children born to married and unmarried parents differ. When a child is born to a married couple, the father has certain legal rights to that child from the time the child is born. When a child is born to unmarried parents, the father has no legal rights to the child until paternity is established.
Once Paternity is Established — Case Proceeds Under Family Law Rules
Paternity cases are typically brought either by a mother who is seeking child support, or by a father who is seeking to establish parenting time with his child. Once paternity is established, the case proceeds in the same manner as any other family law case with a parent seeking child support or parenting time for their child. The parents will be required to provide information regarding income and expenses as well as information associated with ability to parent if such issues are called into question.
These cases often become contentious and make their way into court because they are the result of the breakup of a relationship. Often parents who were once living together and co-parenting their child or children find themselves at odds and unable to reach an agreement on child support or parenting time. Sometimes they simply do not know how to calculate child support. Other times, the break-up of the relationship is extremely contentious and there are hurt feelings and anger. It may be necessary or prudent to involve an attorney in order to allow a professional to assist in preparing the paperwork and negotiating the best interests of the child or children.
Contact Brimley — One of Utah Valley’s Top Family Law Attorneys
Mr. Brimley understands the impact that parental conflict can have on children, and the emotions involved in the break-up of a relationship. Balancing these two factors, he is able to handle his clients’ cases with the sensitivity, caring and compassion that is so often neglected in this field, while providing the aggressive, experienced and knowledgeable representation that is required. Contact Mr. Brimley and his staff at the Provo location BRIMLEY FAMILY LAW, LLC at (801) 375-1100 to schedule a consultation so that you can discuss your options and goals today.