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Single Mother Child Custody
Single Mother Child CustodyChild custody issues equally affect divorcing couples and unmarried parents without discrimination as to marital status. Child custody can be a contentiously-fought and emotionally-charged part of divorce proceedings or even litigation between unmarried partners. Because of the high stakes of child custody disputes on parents and, more importantly, on the children at issue, it is prudent for parties to give serious consideration to consulting with legal counsel. Single mothers automatically are awarded child custody rights under state laws. The legislative preference for granting custody to mothers stems from the historic and traditional child-rearing roles of women in society, as well as the predominant needs of infants and young children for their mothers for nourishment and comfort. Those custody rights are not absolute, however, and can be lost. Child Custody Rights of Single Fathers Single mothers' counterparts, unmarried fathers, do not have child custody rights automatically assigned to them. This is the case even if any of the following is true:
- The child's paternity has been determined;
- The father's last name has been given to the child; or
- The father's name is listed on the child's birth certificate.
- He has participated in an active and involved manner in the parenting or co-parenting of the child at issue; and
- He has assisted significantly in the child's raising.
- That the third party has the right to seek child custody; and
- That the natural parent (or parents) is unfit to bring up the child.