With so many Colorado laws on the books governing custody in marital breakdown, unmarried parents may be confused about which laws protect them and the interests of their children. In some states, an unwed father may have a hard time winning custody over a mother. This is because the law requires the mother to be awarded sole physical custody unless the father takes action. Of course, if the father does establish paternity and request that the court grant him visitation and parenting rights, the same laws would apply as with any other custody case.
The only major difference between a standard divorce and the breakup of a non-married parents’ relationship is the need for the father to take legal action in order to establish his parental rights. Establishing paternity is simple if the father signed the birth certificate, but if he did not, then it could present a minor setback. The court will usually ask for confirmation of paternity through paternity testing.
Custody disputes can also arise between the unmarried parents and their children’s grandparents, who may take action to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren. If the grandparents are already raising the children, it is not uncommon for them to petition the court for sole custody.
If you find yourself in a situation where custody will need to determined, it is a good idea to seek the counsel of a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer. An experienced custody attorney will be familiar with Colorado laws pertaining to unwed parents, grandparents’ rights, and the entire spectrum of parent-child relationships.