Child Custody Disputes for Unmarried Parents
Approximately 41 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried parents, according to the Pew Research Center. Disputed custody for unmarried parents can become a lengthy, motion-driven court battle when a relationship ends. Seeking immediate legal guidance can help. The vast majority of cases do not go to trial. We will quickly identify the legal issues and help you work toward an agreeable outcome.
What to bring with you to our first meeting:
Our lawyers can answer many questions during the initial consult. If available, bringing the following:
- The child’s birth certificate
- Health insurance cards
- Prior child support or custody and visitation orders
Consider what support you provided — did you buy all the diapers and formula? Can you document these purchases with receipts? How much time did you spend with the child?
Ohio has specific criteria defining who is a parent. If your name is not on the birth certificate, you may need to file an affidavit of paternity. Genetic testing can answer questions of paternity.
Residential vs. Non-residential Parent
It may be possible to negotiate or mediate a child custody and visitation agreement. Solutions vary and always include reviewing what is in the best interest of the child. This can include looking at available schools, sibling relationships, and the logistics of sharing custody between different cities.
If parents are not speaking, or if the child does not know one parent, it can take extra time to resolve child custody. In these highly contested cases, a judge will decide custody after considering many factors. A guardian ad litem, a professional who advocates for a child’s best interests, may also be appointed. When necessary we have the experience to take your case to the court.
No Fast Fixes but We Can Help
Establishing child custody is a financial and emotional investment. After discussing your situation, our attorneys can provide tailored legal guidance.