Unmarried parents’ legal rights Washington State

Legal counsel for your unique situation

Unmarried couples with kids are more and more common these days, leading to some challenging parenting questions in the wake of break ups.

What are your parenting rights if you happen to be an unmarried parent in Washington state? Though divorce isn’t necessary to end a relationship where marriage hasn’t been involved, the way that parenting rights sometimes have to be negotiated after a couple separates bears some similarity to legal processes that people traditionally associate with divorce proceedings.

Parenting plans and child support for unmarried couples

Unmarried parents have the legal opportunity to have parenting plans and orders of child support established by the court just like married parents do in cases of divorce or legal separation.

As Tacoma's compassionate advocates for over 35 years, our family law attorneys are experienced in working with many types of families.

The first step toward your legal rights as an unmarried parent is to have paternity established, identifying the child’s biological parents. When determining who the biological parents are, the court also often determines a residential schedule (custody) and enters child support.

      Can Either Unmarried Parent Establish Paternity?

      Both unmarried parents have the legal right to bring a paternity action, the legal procedure used to determine whether a person is the parent of a child or not.

      Sometimes the State of Washington initiates a paternity proceeding when a parent or child is receiving certain forms of state assistance.

      At Helland Law Group, our attorneys have the experience necessary to help guide you through the legal maze associated with trying to establish paternity, parenting plans, and child support. Please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation and we can help advise you of your specific legal rights and options.

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