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Unmarried couples and child custody

Unwed parents in Wisconsin who decide to separate will still have to deal with matters of child custody, even if they don't have to deal with a divorce. This can be a difficult matter for any couple to deal with. However, there are a few extra things for unwed couples to keep in mind.

For example, The Spruce states that a father will need to have established paternity over the child. This can be done in two ways. The simple way is for the father to be present at the child's birth and to sign the birth certificate. The other way is to fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Petitioning a court may also happen if the mother of the child contests the father's paternity. Fortunately, if a man has established paternity over a child, they will have the same rights as a married man.

However, Findlaw also shows that custody of the child is usually automatically awarded to a mother in the case of an unwed couple. While the father can contest for some sort of custody, it usually won't be awarded if the mother is a good parent. However, the father can arrange for visitation rights or even joint custody in some cases, allowing for the child to have near-equal time with both parents.

While unwed couples may face more hurdles than a married couple when it comes to child custody, the same rights often apply and similar options are often available to them. This can make the transition a much easier one.

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