Mediating a Parenting Agreement for Unmarried Parents

Developing a custody arrangement, child support, and a parenting plan during divorce is common and many cases are fairly straightforward.  But, if unmarried parents decide to separate and need to establish a parenting agreement, including custody and child support, the process can be a little more complicated. Rather than arguing in court and getting into a contentious battle, parenting agreements for single parents can be successfully reached in mediation.

Establishing Paternity

Typically, paternity is not an issue. However, if the father is contesting it or if the paternity of the child is uncertain in any way, paternity must be established before anything else can happen. The mother or father will need to petition the court for a paternity test.  A DNA test will be conducted by an impartial and approved lab to determine paternity.

Custody & Time-Sharing Agreements

When single parents establish the details of things like custody and time-sharing arrangements the chance of conflict later is diminished. Mediation to develop a parenting agreement is ideal for single parents to protect the legal parental rights of both parties.  The custody and time-sharing agreements will give both parents something that is legally enforceable should the need ever arise.

Child Support

The laws regarding child support differ from state-to-state but, generally, both legal parents are required to support their child.  The particular amounts will depend on parental income and who pays the majority of the costs associated with caring of the child including medical care, dental care, and the costs associated with school or childcare.  If for any reason child support is not voluntarily paid, mediation will supply you with documentation that is legally enforceable.

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