Rochester Unmarried Parents Child Custody Lawyer

Rochester Unmarried Parents Child Custody Lawyer

Rochester, N.Y. Unmarried Parents Child Custody Attorney

Parenting is difficult no matter what your Rochester, NY, situation is. However, when you and your child’s other parent are not married, there can be specific legal challenges that occur. Determining child custody is one such challenge.

Custody is almost always an emotional process. However, when unmarried parents navigate child custody, there are often additional co-parenting considerations and challenges. Depending on the situation, it may be difficult to decide how the child should be raised, how to implement and maintain rules and boundaries, and child custody schedules.

If you and your child’s other parent are trying to determine a custody schedule, it is important to go through the legal system. With the help of our child custody attorneys, you can navigate this unique situation and set yourself and your child’s other parent up for success.

Rochester Unmarried Parents Child Custody Lawyer

Trotto Law Firm, P.C. Your Rochester, New York Unmarried Parents Custody Attorneys

Our team of Rochester family law attorneys has been working in this industry for many years. Throughout our time in business, we have been able to represent a myriad of different clients with varying situations. We are confident that we can help you and your family to navigate New York child custody, no matter what your situation may be.

We fight diligently to make sure that our clients get the child custody agreements that they deserve. Children are an impactful part of most parents’ lives, and we help our clients to protect their children and families during custody negotiations. Our child custody attorneys offer mothers, fathers, and parents the best legal support in the Rochester area.

Custody Eligibility

It is important to understand that a parent’s relationship status does not determine their rights. If a child’s parents have legally claimed parentage, they have the same rights as other parents. Unmarried parents simply need to determine where the child will live and how often the child needs to see or spend time with each parent.

The court determines child custody based on what is best for the child. Their safety, health, and happiness are the court’s top priorities, while the opinions or desires of the parents are secondary. The court will not allow a parent to have custody if they seem somehow unfit to be a proper parent. The court assesses each parent:

  • Schedule and ability to spend time with the child
  • Relationship to drugs and alcohol
  • Housing situation
  • Employment situation
  • Mental and physical health
  • Relationship with the child
  • Criminal history

If the child is old enough to form an independent opinion, the court may take their wishes into account as well.

Potential Custody Agreements

The specific schedule that you and your child’s other parent choose will depend on your schedules, commutes, and overall needs. However, there are some categories of custody agreements that the court can mandate.

Shared Custody

In a shared custody situation, both parents spend approximately equal time as the custodial parent for the child. For example, Parent A may care for the child for one week, and then Parent B cares for the child the next, and they switch off holidays.

Partial Custody

In a partial custody situation, one parent has the majority of the custody while the other parent has a minority portion. For example, Parent A may care for the child Monday through Friday while Parent B cares for the child on Saturday and Sunday.


In a visitation situation, one parent has custody nearly all of the time, while the other parent has the legal right to see or care for their child a certain number of hours per month. This may simply be day visits, or it may be sleepovers depending on the situation. For example, Parent A cares for the child all of the time, but every other weekend Parent B cares for the child on Saturday.

Full Custody

In a full custody situation, one parent cares for the child while the other parent has no legal right to care for or see the child. They may only do so at the custodial parent’s discretion.

FAQs About Rochester, NY Unmarried Parents Child Custody Law

Who Has Legal Custody When Parents Are Unmarried in New York?

The court will determine who has legal custody during a child custody hearing. Parents should get the same rights if they are unmarried as they would if they are divorced from the child’s other parent. The court is more concerned with the ability of each parent to care for their child, as well as their relationship to the child and the child’s opinion if the child is old enough to form one.

What Rights do Unmarried Fathers Have in New York?

Parents have the same rights regardless of their gender or gender expression. The only time that a father may not have rights is if paternity has not been established. If a father is unmarried to the child’s other parent, the father needs to be present at the hospital to sign the birth certificate if he wants parental rights and will fulfill parental obligations. Otherwise, he can seek paternity through tests and a legal case.

Can an Unmarried Father Get Full Custody in New York?

Yes. Fathers can get full custody if they are qualified to care for their child and the child’s other parent is not. The court determines a parent’s fitness by assessing various factors. If a father meets the court’s criteria, he is just as eligible to receive full custody as a parent of any other gender would be.

How Does Custody Work with Unmarried Parents in New York?

If two parents are unmarried and not living together, custody can be negotiated through the court system. The court will assess both parents to ensure that they are capable of caring for their child. The court will also assess paternity and require testing if paternity has not been established. Once a custody agreement has been made, the people involved must follow its parameters regardless of whether the parents are married, unmarried, or divorced.

Contact Trotto Law Firm, P.C.

Unmarried parents seeking child custody deserve proper legal representation, and our firm is here to provide that. Contact Trotto Law Firm, P.C. online to learn more.

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