Child custody issues are not the total province of divorcing couples with children. The fact is, many Texas couples choose to have children while forgoing marriage altogether. And the absence of a marriage license does not automatically mean an absence of child custodyy issues between parents.
As this article points out, child custody decisions can be made by non-married parents in a similar matter to the way they are made by married parents. In both cases, the parents can work out an agreement between themselves. This is generally preferable as it can serve to limit conflicts that may negatively impact the children.
However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the matter may be decided by the court. A court’s primary concern in such situations is to determine which parent is the child’s primary caretaker.
Typically in cases involving unmarried parents, the state requires the mother be awarded custody. And while it may mean a father may not be able to gain custody of a child, he can take measures to receive some a visitation and custody rights.
It may seem that working out child custody agreements is a simpler process for unmarried parents than for divorcing parents. If unmarried parents can agree to terms and maintain that agreement, everything could work out fine. But if a private agreement cannot be worked out, one or both parents may seek to have the matter settled in more legally binding terms.
A child can benefit from spending time with both parents. This is just as true for children whose parents never married as it is for children whose parents did marry. If you are looking to establish a child custody agreement with a person to whom you were never married, a Texas family law attorney may be able to help you work out acceptable terms.