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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Tips For Unmarried Parents Who Are Raising Children Together

Written by Amar Weisman » February 18, 2014 »

There are a number of couples in Maryland and all throughout the U.S. who share children together; however, they have never been legally married to each other. Although the situation might not seem to be a difficult one to deal with from a legal standpoint, your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you that there are still a number of legal issues that can arise in such an arrangement. Individuals who have been living together as couples and raising their kids together have lives that are intertwined in the same ways as married couples. But what happens when unmarried couples decide to go their separate ways?

The Legalities of the Situation

The upside to the situation is that unmarried couples will not have to deal with the aggravation and headache of filing for divorce. Still, in such cases, it is often difficult for individuals to know how to proceed, particularly if they do not know what their rights are from a legal standpoint. In cases where the parties are the legal, biological parents of the children, child custody and support issues will likely be similar to those of married couples.

However, as your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney can tell you, if one of the individuals is not a child's legal parent, that individual might not enjoy the rights afforded to legal parents, and even something such as visitation can be eliminated. But if parents are willing and interested in having non-legal parents remain a part of their child's life, a written agreement can be entered into with respect to visitation rights.

Emotional Issues

Occasionally, family members and friends will not take into account the true impact of an unmarried couple's separation simply because the individuals were never married. In fact, the couples themselves might not expect to have intense reactions to their own breakups. But quite often, unmarried couples go through the same issues, such as anger, denial, sadness, questioning and impatience, as legally married couples.

That said, without being bound by Maryland law with respect to the timeframe that must be followed to get a divorce, unmarried couples might actually go for substantial periods of time after they have physically separated before they take the time to meet and attempt to resolve any remaining parenting and/or property issues. This typically occurs when one person gets into a new relationship and/or plans to marry someone else.

Getting Closure

Couples who were married and obtain a divorce might find the finalization of the divorce to provide the closure they need when ending the relationship. However, unmarried individuals will have to find their own ways of obtaining closure. Some people might decide to take their first vacation alone as a symbolic gesture of the end of the relationship, while others might find it beneficial to speak with a therapist. Keep in mind, though, that if a couple is still raising children together, the needed "closure" that is sought might not be realized for a very long time.

Commonly the issues will be resolved by way of child custody proceedings in the Circuit Court. This process involves filing a Complaint For Custody and Child Support seeking either sole physical custody, joint physical custody, sole legal custody, or joint legal custody. Visitation also needs to be adjudicated for the noncustodial parent. 

If you or a family member is a parent who is raising children together with the other parent and you have questions or concerns on how to do so effectively, let a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC help.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.