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Who Gets Custody? Is There Automatic Custody?

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 1:24 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It is assume by the majority of people that the mother will be awarded automatic custody of a child, this is only holds true in certain cases – for instance, when the biological father has not been determined and the mother is fit to parent. However, in most cases, the truth is that whether the parents are married or not, they both have the SAME right to be awarded custody. Many courts do still tend to favor the mother for certain reasons, but when the child is between infancy and about 9 years of age there is still a valid case for awarding the father full or partial custody.

Fathers still have important rights they need to be aware of: First, it is very important to have the child legally declared to be your child, by DNA Testing, birth certificates, or other methods. Second, all legally declared fathers are entitled to reasonable rights of visitation and contact with the child, including holidays, school events, report cards, and extra curricular activities and visits to doctors and dentists. Lastly, fathers have the right to have child support set a a reasonable amount based on their financial situation. All states have laws regarding child support, including how to calculate what your child support dollar amount should be. The laws in each state varies, so please look into your legal rights.

Any parent can lose custody if they are found unfit due to drug or alcohol dependency, neglect/abuse of the child, or if they fail to maintain a consistent home life for the child. Historically, one of the many arguments for granting a mother primary custody was their constant presence in the the home. This is no longer a valid reason because most women today now work outside of the home and are not the full time care givers.

Today, all parents have a basic right to be awarded full or partial custody. However, certain individuals will jeopardize that right should it be proven they are unfit to parent. Each case is unique and should be evaluated on an individual basis. In some states, this judgment is made by a jury and in other states by a Judge.

For more information on State Laws, see: Divorce Net

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