Law: Child Custody

It is not obligatory to be married to raise a child, the main condition is to follow the rules and current laws.

Child Custody Agreements for Unmarried Parents

Every mother and most of fathers have parental rights and responsibility in raising their child. But nowadays, it can be noticed that most couples can bear children together as they still remain unmarried. Also, the couple may decide to divorce and end their relationship. In these two perspectives, both parents still remain with the responsibility to raise the child. For the child interests to be met, the parents can agree who to provide the child’s custody, failure to, the court can provide a custody agreement regardless if the couple is divorcing or separated. The child custody agreement has to meet the child interests.

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In the United States, a mother has an automatic parental responsibility and custody of a child right from birth unlike the father. For a father to be granted the chance to offer custody to the child, use of his name in the child birth certificate is not sufficient. He has to demonstrate before court to prove how he is actively playing a role in raising the child. Therefore, in court, the judge will design the custody agreement basing his decisions in favor of the child’s best interests, to ensure that it contributes more to the child’s growth, safety, security, and happiness.

To ensure that the best interests of a child are met, the judge has to consider various factors that have an impact on the life of the child, from both parents. This is because, the parents can be having various attributes that might be unfavorable to the child, for instance, a parent can be irresponsible and uncaring, may be living in difficult home environment or has never lived with the child before and has no rearing skills to raise a child, he/she may be facing serious financial challenges or maybe not employed and also the parent can be suffering from an illness that may harm the child.

Therefore, the judge has to consider a parent who can provide the best home environment to the child after taking into consideration their living conditions. Also, he has to consider the school system in that region, availability of quality medical services in that area and how well the child relates to the homestead or the community around.

But under normal circumstances, it is recommended that both parents have to participate fully in raising their child. Despite, the fact that the parents are divorced or separated, both still have the responsibility to raise their child.

For the unmarried couple they should have a schedule that will determine how they will raise their child. A custody agreement has to contain a visitation schedule that will determine which parent to spend time with the child, when, and where. The schedule will have to be customized to fit in the unique family incidences. The parents can decide to follow the custody order of dividing the children whereby the mother has to remain with some kids as the father takes care of the rest, or decide to take of them in shifts as they move from one parent to the other at different times. Other parents may lack enough time to offer custody to their children thus they may decide to follow other custody order which allows them to visit child on every weekend. And in case the parents reside in separate states, the can continuously visit the children during summer months and just one weekend during schools period.

It is also necessary to incorporate the holidays in the visitation schedule. For instance, the custody plan should spell out which parent to spend time with the child during specific holidays over the year such festive holidays like Christmas holiday, father’s day, and also the mother’s day. It should also provide the responsibilities to be handled by each parent during these holidays, for example, who to cater for transportation costs incurred.

As much as the child’s basic needs like food, clothing and shelter may remain crucial over years, their academic goals, medical needs, and personal decisions can change over time as they grow, therefore, this will create need for change in the child agreement custody. Moreover, there is need to create change to the custody order which cannot be done by the court unless there is a material change to the child’s life which be caused by the child’s current medical analysis or  major school struggles which can hinder his best interests. Then, a child can be allowed to move in with other the parent.