Visitation Rights of Unmarried Parents
Courts that handle child custody matters always seeks to protect the best interests of the child above all other considerations.
There are several assumptions about what is in the best interest of a child for unmarried parents. For example, when the parents divorce, or never marry in the first place, there is a general assumption that the mother should have custody. However, the law also assumes that it is good for the child to have as much contact as possible with both parents, regardless of which one gets custody.
Accordingly, if the parents are unmarried, the biological father of a child can usually get visitation rights, in the absence of compelling reasons not to grant such rights.
If the unmarried parent who has the child opposes visitation by the other parent, he or she has the burden of proving that visitation by the non-custodial parent would be extremely harmful to the child.
If one parent is concerned about visitation with the other unmarried parent, a court may compromise, and allow supervised visitation. If the parent seeking visitation has been convicted of certain sex crimes or violent offenses, a court may grant supervised visitation, if it grants any visitation at all.
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Last Modified: 09-14-2010 03:50 PM PDT
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