If my ex and I were never married does the mother automatically have custody of the children?

Legal and physical custody between parents is determined by court order. If there is no court order, law enforcement agencies, schools, doctors, etc. may have different and conflicting policies on how they determine which parent has custody. There will be a filing fee to establish an order for custody and/or paternity/custody. Access our fee schedule. You may also click on the appropriate link below to access forms and information to file documents to establish custody and/or paternity. To determine the forms that are appropriate for you, you may wish to speak to an attorney. Court personnel may not determine the form appropriate for your situation.

Petition to Establish Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time & Child Support (PDF)

Show All Answers

1. We don’t want to be married anymore. If our marriage license was never recorded do we still have to file for a divorce? Who would know we are married if there is no record?
2. How do I file a divorce without an attorney?
3. How much does it cost to file for a divorce?
4. Do both parties have to sign the divorce papers?
5. What are the steps involved in filing a divorce?
6. How do I file for legal separation?
7. How do I file for an annulment?
8. What do I do when I don't know where the other person is to serve him/her?
9. I just got served with divorce papers. What do I do?
10. I was served with divorce papers on June 3. Exactly how many days do I have to respond?
11. I got a notice stating that my case has been placed on the inactive calendar. What am I supposed to do now?
12. I have just moved, how can I update my address with the Court?
13. How soon after my divorce is final can I get married again?
14. My ex is not complying with the decree. How do I make my ex comply?
15. I want to see my child more than the old court order allows. How do I get more time with my child?
16. My ex has custody of our child. I have our child for parenting time, but the child does not want to go back to my ex. Does our child have to go back?
17. I am supposed to pick up my kids this weekend, but my ex says I won’t be allowed to have them. Can the court make my ex give me the kids?
18. I want to know if the judge will read a text message on my phone and listen to a voice mail. This is evidence that my ex is denying me parenting time. I need to know this before the hearing that is cu
19. When can I get an emergency Court order for custody of my child?
20. Will I get to talk to the judge about my emergency petition for custody?
21. If my ex and I were never married does the mother automatically have custody of the children?
22. Where can I get help completing the Parent’s Worksheet to establish or modify a child support order?
23. I've been ordered to take a Parent Education Class, how do I register and pay?