The Custody Rights of Unmarried Parents Can be Complicated | Andalman & Flynn Law Firm
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The Custody Rights of Unmarried Parents Can Be Complicated

Nov 1, 2022 | Articles, Child Custody

By: Mary Ellen Flynn, Esq.

Unmarried and married parents often face the same legal issues regarding their children. However, the law makes it somewhat more complicated for children born to unmarried parents.

The first issue that may present itself is for a father to establish that he is the child’s biological father. This is referred to as paternity. In Maryland, it is typical for a father to first have a paternity test done to confirm that he is the father and to begin the process of him securing his parental rights.

In Maryland, there is an assumption that if a couple is married and has a child, the spouses are the parents of that child. Things can get complicated when there is adultery involved in the marriage. If the mom has had an affair and got pregnant by someone other than her spouse, then that father will want to take immediate steps to secure his parental rights to the child.

Whether you are married or not, you must be involved in the child’s life to obtain custody and visitation with your child. This means having regular contact with your child, attending doctor’s appointments and school functions, and ensuring that your child is appropriately cared for.

In Maryland, two types of custody will need to be decided, legal and physical custody.

Legal custody is who makes the decisions about your child’s education, medical needs, religion, and the like. Physical custody is the schedule you will follow and the time you will have with your child.  There are many factors a court must consider and parents should consider when reaching a custody agreement.

Whether married or not, parents who are not together have the same hurdles to face when deciding on custody and support.

However, if you are unmarried, then a father should move forward with ensuring paternity is established early on so that his parental rights and decision-making about his child are based. If you need assistance with paternity, custody, or support matters, don’t hesitate to contact Andalman and Flynn at 301-563-6685 to speak with me or one of our other experienced family law attorneys.

Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The Firm practices family lawestate planning, and probate throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, and represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country. The Firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone, and are there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. The Firm has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and their attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit the website at or call 301.563.6685.