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Do Unmarried Couples Have Child Custody Rights?

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in Child Custody

TX family lawyerIn the Lone Star State, many couples decide to build a life together and raise children without tying the knot. However, just like married couples, unmarried partners may face the challenges of a breakup. When children are involved, determining legal child custody becomes crucial. Without a clear plan, one parent might decide to up and move, leaving the other parent with limited legal rights to contest the move or participate in important decisions in their child's life. If this is your case, you should contact a Texas child custody attorney.

What Are the Legal Steps For Unmarried Parents?

For couples who never walked down the aisle, Texas law steps in to ensure the best interests of the child are safeguarded. When it comes to child custody, unmarried parents have the opportunity to create a parenting plan or seek a court order to establish legal rights and responsibilities. This plan outlines crucial details such as where the child will live, visitation schedules, and decision-making authority.

What Does the Best Interest of A Child Mean?

The court considers various factors when deciding on custody arrangements, including each parent's ability to provide a stable home, the child's relationship with each parent, and the child's physical and emotional needs. It is essential for unmarried parents to understand that, without a legal arrangement, both parents have equal rights to the child. This means either parent can relocate without the other's consent, potentially disrupting the child's life and the non-moving parent's access.

To avoid potential conflicts and uncertainties, unmarried couples are encouraged to create a parenting plan. This document helps outline expectations and responsibilities, providing a roadmap for both parents to follow. It can cover important aspects like visitation schedules, holidays, and major decisions affecting the child's life, such as education and healthcare. In cases where reaching an agreement is challenging, seeking legal guidance is crucial. Consulting with a family law attorney can help unmarried parents understand their rights and responsibilities under Texas law. An attorney can also assist in navigating the legal process, ensuring that the child's best interests are at the forefront.

Schedule a Consultation with a Travis County, TX Child Custody Lawyer

While unmarried couples may not experience the formalities of divorce, child custody remains a critical consideration in the event of a breakup. At Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC we can help guide you. An experienced Austin, TX child custody attorney can explain the essential steps to follow. Call 512-610-6199 for a consultation.


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