When Mothers are Unmarried to Fathers

Cindy Best

When the mother is unmarried to the father, the mother has sole legal custody and sole physical custody, unless the parties make another arrangement or a court orders otherwise. A parent needs to file and ask for paternity, child custody, and child support. That does not mean that an unmarried father cannot see his child without court. The two parents can draft their own agreement and sign and date it, and it will become a court-enforceable agreement. They can also share parenting time without an agreement, but it is better to put it in writing. And, they should always have a written child support plan, usually paid through the Arizona Clearinghouse.

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