Approximately half of the children born in the United States are born to parents who are not married. Parenting by unmarried parents is increasingly common, but in some cases, the legal precedent is not clear when it comes to custody and child care arrangements for children of unmarried parents. Michael Hulen can help unmarried parents arrange for child custody agreements if they split up or wish to make a will or living will.
Custody and Unmarried Parents in Colorado
Because unmarried parents do not go through divorce proceedings if they end their relationships, it is extremely important for them to have a clear and mutually beneficial custody agreement in place. Unmarried parents can be subject to different legal requirements in custody cases than married parents. Paternity tests are often required for fathers who are not married to their children’s mothers if they are not listed on the child’s birth certificate. In these custody cases, as in cases with married parents, Colorado courts determine custody based on the best interests of the child. In these interests, courts may:
- Award full custody to one parent
- Award joint custody to both parents
- Mandate visitation rights
- Set amounts and timing for child support payments
In joint custody cases, Michael Hulen can help unmarried parents understand their custody options and determine how they will share custody. Michael Hulen, C.P, is trained in mediation, which can take place in his office in several short sessions. Some unmarried parents do not need a court ruling to decide custody, so mediation can be a helpful tool for them.
Beyond Joint Custody
Depending on the particular family and child’s best interests, joint custody may not be the best option for unmarried parents. There are a number of options that Mike Hulen, PC can help single and unmarried parents negotiate. These options include:
- Advocating for sole custody when appropriate
- Advocating for sole custody with visitation, depending on the wishes and rights of the parent who does not have custody
- Visitation rights and/or custody for grandparents of a child with unmarried parents
To award sole custody, Colorado courts often require both parents to undergo a parental evaluation. Mike Hulen, PC help their clients understand and anticipate these requirements. As with all cases, custody arrangements for unmarried parents made with the help of Mike Hulen, PC can keep the circumstances and needs of an individual family at the forefront of every decision.
Michael Hulen prides himself on working with parents to come to a custody agreement that takes all sides into account and is in the best interest of the child. He can represent one parent or work with both parents, depending on the nature of the case. For more information, contact us online. You may also reach us by phone at 303-932-8666 at any time. First-time clients are welcome to a free consultation in person or by phone.