It is increasingly commonplace for unmarried people to have children. When these parents are not together and issues of child custody arise, it is necessary to understand how parental rights work so that those rights can be fully exercised.
Parentage Must Be Established
For any parent to exercise any legal rights to their children, parentage must first be established. For many parents, there is a “presumption” of parentage. For example, women are presumed to be the mothers of their children based on the woman giving birth to a child. Also, maternity can be established by maternal adjudication for a child born through a surrogate, or by an order of adoption.
For fathers, there are more variables involved when it comes to establishing paternity. For married fathers, there is a presumption of paternity. The same is true for an unmarried father that cohabited with the mother beginning 6 months before the conception through the period of conception. An unmarried father can also establish paternity via a formal acknowledgment of paternity signed by both parents. When there is a dispute as to paternity, legal action can establish paternity via genetic testing.
Mothers and Fathers Have Equal Right to Seek Custody
Significantly, once parentage is established, unmarried parents share the same parental rights that married parents have. This includes an equal right of fathers and mothers to seek legal and physical custody of their child. There is no presumption under Nevada law that gives either a mother or father preference when it comes to issues of child custody. Rather, courts look at the totality of a child’s situation and make decisions based on a child’s best interest.
If you are an unmarried parent and want to explore your legal rights, you need to speak with a lawyer. An experienced family law attorney will listen to you and provide you custom-tailored advice based on your circumstances.
Family Law Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.
If you want help navigating issues of parentage or child custody, you need a family law attorney. Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a top-class law firm that provides family law representation to men and women in the Reno area. Our attorneys are intelligent, driven, and have a track record of success. If you want someone to fight for your parental rights, call us. Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.