With a relationship that never ended in marriage; a relationship that brings forth an offspring as a blessing in disguise and; a relationship that ends on a bad note with the unmarried couple finally breaking up, establishing a child's custody gets difficult and challenging. It is as difficult as resolving a property dispute between two people but not as easy as deciding who will keep the furniture and who will keep the car.

Now, if you are one of the parents to a child and seeking a child's custody, one of the most important things that you need to know is -- it's usually the father of the child who will have to undergo a lengthy legal process in order to establish his paternity. If the birth certificate of the child does not show the father's name, it becomes difficult to not raise doubts over the father's paternity. Another issue that often raises doubts over paternity is -- whether a non-biological father can have the right to a child's custody?

A married couple ending in divorce too faces the same hassles when proceeding towards a child's custody, it's a step easier than when parents of the child are unmarried. The unmarried couple may have cared for and supported the child in as much the same way as the married couple, but this fact will have to be established in ways more than one and the laws applicable will vary from state to state.

So, the following is what you need to know when facing the issue of a child's custody.

If you are a single parent, all you need to do is fulfill all the formalities that might be required to establish you as the child's father or mother.

If you have adopted the child, the first one to adopt the child will be the child's custodian.

If you are a biological parent but unmarried, and a father to the child, you will need to establish your paternity before proceeding for your child's custody. If your name is indicated on the records such as the birth certificate of the child, this can be used as proof of paternity. Even if you sign the form that's meant to establish you as the father of the child after the child is born, that shall equally be valid.

A court-ordered-DNA test will have to be passed by scoring at least 95% or above to establish your paternity as a father.

A consent conference can be scheduled to tackle the issue of child's custody, if you do not want to go the court and wherein a court representative can present your case to the judge.

There are two types of child custody -- physical and legal. While legal custody will determine who will take care of the child's expenses such as schooling and education, medical care, etc., the physical custody will establish who will live with the child most of the time.

Other facts will need to be established such as the child's wishes, his/her relationship with each parent, the parent's ability to take appropriate care, parent's financial situation, a child relationship with other family members, etc.

In Conclusion

In the end, all you need to remember is that the court will take action on a case-case basis. Of course, the one thing that can not be ruled out is the fact that as a father you will have to face a little more hassle than the mother of the child, even if the mother is unmarried.

Author's Bio: 

Jeffery Whalley lovingly called Jeff, is not just an attorney but managing attorney at Whalley Law. A graduate from Seattle University and J.D., Jeff is also an MA in Sports Administration and Leadership. A man of many statures as he should be referred to, he is as much dedicated towards his legal profession as he is towards his family. When it comes to work ethics, there’s no second belief for him. The litigation cases that he has handled in the state of Washington including the Court of appeals, Jeff is someone whose success speaks for him as he has handled even those cases which other attorneys won’t dare touch. Jeff often pens down his thoughts, ideas and legal experiences in the form of blogs in a legally bold manner.

If yours is a case that pertains to divorce and child custody, or any other dispute that falls under family law, personal law, or personal injury, Jeff and his team of attorneys at Whalley Law can help you resolve the dispute.