Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I am expecting a baby 8/1/11. The father & I are not married nor are we cohabiting, but we get along. What is the basic process for establishing custody and parenting time? Are we legally required to file something through the court? If so, how? I don't care how often he comes over to see us but his work schedule is unpredictable, so a pre-scheduled parenting time arrangment might not be feasible. How formal does a parenting agreement need to be? Are there flexible options available?

Answer: You may want to start by reviewing the article titled “Things you should know about Custody and Parenting Time”. This article is intended to provide general information about custody or parenting time. If the parents cannot agree on a plan for raising the children, the court will order a plan or decide matters concerning their health and welfare. Often this includes making decisions about how much time the child will spend with each parent and which parent will be the primary caregiver. In some situations, unmarried parents, relatives or other persons also may ask the court for custody or parenting time. In each case, the court's decision is based on the child's best interests. You can also find model parenting time plans on this website. These forms can help assist you in creating a plan that works for you and your child’s father. Since family matters may be fact specific, if you feel you need to speak with an attorney, you can find more information on where to locate an attorney for specific legal advice on this website.

QUESTIONS

  • I am expecting a baby 8/1/11. The father & I are not married nor are we cohabiting, but we get along. What is the basic process for establishing custody and parenting time? Are we legally required to file something through the court? If so, how? I don't care how often he comes over to see us but his work schedule is unpredictable, so a pre-scheduled parenting time arrangment might not be feasible. How formal does a parenting agreement need to be? Are there flexible options available?

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