Unmarried Parents, Child Custody and Parental Responsibility
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Written by Norman A. Green
Traditionally, when a married couple with children divorces, custody is determined with the assumption that both parents lived in the same household. However, with unmarried couples that break-up, custody decisions are based on two people who may not have been living together and how much involvement each one has had in the lives of the children their union produced.
“In a child custody case, it’s always about what’s best for the children. The only difference between married couples and unmarried ones is that with unmarried people the court has many additional factors to consider before making a custody determination,” said Norman Green, Senior Partner at Green & Metcalf of Vero Beach, FL.
Prior to entering a parenting plan for the children of unmarried couples, the court considers things such as the children’s relationship with each parent, which parent will be able to provide the best home environment, the employment of each parent and with which parent the children have been living, among many other factors. Once these and other questions have been answered, the court has a better idea of where the children will be most likely to benefit from their surroundings.
“The court always wants to see both parents play an active role in the lives of children – regardless of whether or not the parents are married. The Court strives to enter a parenting plan that will equalize the time-sharing as much as possible if it’s in the child or children’s best interests. We encourage parents facing custody issues to consult with one of our family law attorneys to get as informed as possible before you enter a courtroom,” Green said.
Norman A. Green is the founder and a partner of Green & Metcalf - Attorneys At Law. He has over 40 years of experience in the practice fields of criminal defense and family law (divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, modifications of existing orders, prenuptial agreements and alimony cases).