Child custody is always a complex issue, but it can be especially challenging for unmarried couples. There is always the issue of who becomes the visiting parent and who will be the custodial parent. Even if you are unmarried, however, the Colorado law mandates that you can still retain parental rights. Unmarried couples have parental rights similar to couples who were formerly married.
To help you navigate through the child custody process, you will still need the help of a qualified family lawyer in Denver. They will be able to determine the best course of action in regards to your parental rights.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
The child custody process is formerly known as the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. It determines who will get custody of the child, and the amount of child support that the visiting parent has to pay.
In the case of unmarried couples, a child will typically take the mother’s surname, unless both parents have taken responsibility for raising the child. Generally, you will have to legally prove that you have a parental connection. Children born to unmarried parents often have their mother’s names because it is easier to verify their parenthood.
Even if the child carries the mother’s surname, the father has all the rights to file for a custody dispute.
It is Not that Different to Married Couples
The custody process is actually not that different to married couples, as long as one or both parents seek a legal agreement under the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities process. This will allow them to gain and to modify custody.
Couples may choose to have a hearing or ask for mediation instead. In fact, it is possible to ask for joint custody, even if you are unmarried. In these cases, key decisions in a child’s life, such as where he or she will study, or where to get medical care, are equally shared by the parents.
What matters most is the well-being of your child. Even if you are unmarried, the courts will always put your child’s best interests first.