Rights of Unwed Parents
When men and women who are not married have a child, it is not uncommon for issues to arise. From child support to paternity matters, the situation can quickly become complex and emotionally charged. In order to secure a positive environment for the child, it is crucial to achieve a solid, long-term resolution that keeps the child’s best interests and your rights in mind.
Unmarried Parent and Child Custody Issues in Chester County PA
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our team of highly qualified family law attorneys will put their knowledge and experience into action to help ensure that your parental rights are upheld. We thoroughly analyze the circumstances and history of the involved parents and work towards an outcome that allows you and your family the greatest chance at happiness.
If you are an unmarried mother or father and you are looking to take legal action to gain custody or receive child support in West Chester, Radnor, Springfield, Malvern, Kennett Square, Lancaster, West Chester, or the surrounding areas in the greater Philadelphia region, contact Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (877) 529-2422 to learn more about your rights.
Information on Unmarried Parents Rights in Pennsylvania
- Unmarried Parents Rights in Chester County
- Establishing Paternity Before Making Child Support Payments
- Determining Child Support Payments for Unmarried Parents in Pennsylvania
- Unmarried Mothers and Child Support Issues West Chester PA
Unmarried Parent Rights in Chester County
When an unmarried couple has a child, the mother and father are usually presumed to have equal custodial rights over their children. Equal custody gives both parents the ability to make decisions about the child’s health, education, safety, or any other decisions pertaining to the welfare of the child.
If a mother or father is seeking full legal custody, the family court will review a list of factors defined in Title 23 and Section 5328 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues. Some of these factors include:
- Which parent would most likely let the other parent have a steady involvement in the child’s life
- Whether there is any history of child abuse by either parent
- The child’s preference
- If either parent has a history of trying to turn the child against the other parent
- Each parent’s ability to fulfill the emotional needs of the child
- Whether or not either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Each parent’s physical and mental condition
Unlike in other states, when an unmarried couple has a child in Pennsylvania, the mother does not have “natural custody” over the child. Mother and father share equal custody unless a parent seeks a custody order that will allow him or her to have full control and custody of the child.
Establishing Paternity Before Making Child Support Payments
If an unmarried mother has a baby, the paternity of the child must be established before she can receive child support. When paternity has not been established, and no custody order has been put into place, the mother can withhold the child from the other parent.
In some cases, men will be asked to pay child support when they are unsure if they are the biological father of the child. In these instances, a paternity test is the best course of action.
Determining Child Support Payments for Unmarried Parents in Pennsylvania
After a paternity test proves who fathered the child, the mother can be entitled to back child support as well as child support moving forward.
According to Pennsylvania Statutes Title 23 Section 4302, the amount of child support a father must pay is determined by his income. Income includes compensation from:
- Property or rent
- Worker’s compensation
- Social security
- Any other form of compensation
Unmarried Mothers and Child Support Lawyer in Pennsylvania
The experienced family law attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices are knowledgeable in the laws regarding unmarried parent rights. They represent men and women in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, as well as those in the greater Philadelphia region. Furthermore, they understand the concerns unique to unmarried mothers and teenage parents faced with difficult situations.
Ciccarelli Law Offices will approach your case with the dedication and transparency necessary to put you at ease during this stressful time. For a free consultation, call (610) 692-8700 and schedule a time to discuss your case at one of our convenient meeting locations. We serve clients in Chester County including West Chester, Exton, Downingtown, Coatesville, Paoli, Malvern, Parkesburg, Oxford, West Grove and Kennett Square, PA.