Child custody issues can be challenging and stressful for unmarried parents. Although getting a custody order may seem complicated if you are a parent who is not married, there are many benefits to discussing and resolving parenting time, visitation, and childcare issues with your co-parent.
Therefore, developing a custody agreement with your child’s other parent can help you reduce conflict and avoid future disputes.
Mediation and custody orders
If you have a cooperative relationship with your children’s other parent, making a custody agreement together through mediation can be advantageous. Often mediation is more efficient and affordable. Also, you can explore various concerns and develop compromises during mediation because you are presenting your problems to a third party. You can have more control over the outcome of the final custody order, creating solutions that work for your family’s unique needs.
You can write your custody agreement together, including details about schedules and childcare, and submit it to a family court for approval. Mediation might not be an appropriate choice in some cases involving significant disagreement, interpersonal strife or abuse.
Some unmarried parents voluntarily establish paternity shortly after the birth of their child. However, sometimes additional steps, including paternity testing, can help both parties proceed with creating a child custody agreement. Establishing paternity can enable unmarried fathers to stay connected and involved in their children’s lives. Furthermore, clarifying paternity questions can allow children to get the support they need.
For many unmarried parents, creating a custody order can promote the interests of their children while clarifying issues around parenting time and childcare.