I was never married to my child's mother. Can I get custody?

Child custody is always a heated issue in any relationship, but most often people discuss child custody in the context of a married couple filing for divorce. There are other circumstances under which child custody may become an issue, however, and perhaps one of the most difficult is when marriage was never part of the equation.

When a married couple gets divorced, there is always the impression that both parents are important in the child's life, and that, if possible, both parents should remain involved in the child's life. But if a couple conceives a child out of wedlock, in many cases a father may feel as though he has to fight just to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, this is not far from the truth.

If a child is born out of wedlock, there isĀ little legal presumption made as far as the child's parentage. Of course, the mother is obviously established as the child's parent, but in nearly every instance, the father must file for paternity and prove through DNA testing that he is the child's biological parent. It is only after paternity is established that a father truly has any legal recourse regarding a child and his or her upbringing.

Florida law is very clear when it comes to custody and the legal complexities therein, and that is why legal assistance can be so beneficial. If you believe that you are the father of a child, you can take legal action to establish paternity. If testing proves that you are the biological parent, you then have legal recourse to be involved in the child's life should you so desire, including custody arrangements.

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