When a couple chooses to obtain a divorce, proceedings over child custody and support are often complex. After a plan is determined by the court, the chances of both parents staying involved are much higher than if the couple was unwed and determining custody and support shortly after the birth of a child.
One judge has helped create a Co-Parent Court that would help address the issue of parent involvement in these types of situations. “By age 5, over one-third of children with unmarried parents have lost track of the fathers entirely, and over half have very limited contact with their fathers,” the judge said.
It is important to note that these are only statistics and not a broad judgment against fathers. Many fathers continue to remain in their child’s life even when they are not married to the mother. However, the Co-Parent Court hopes to provide support for those who may need it.
The judge who helped establish the program noted that in some instances, with unwed parents the court involvement goes as far as determining the monetary obligation but often fails to help parents who want to remain in their child’s life. The new court program would help them obtain jobs, provide counseling, provide educational classes and other assistance necessary.
If you are an unwed parent or are going to become an unwed parent and you want to ensure your place in your child’s life beyond the monetary obligation, it is important that you fight for that right with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “Judge creates unique problem-solving court to help unwed parents,” May 11, 2012