If parents aren’t married when a child is born but they later get married, does the mom have sole custody?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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If parents aren’t married when a child is born but they later get married, does the mom have sole custody?

If the parents are not married. I know the mother had full custody of child. If they later get married does that change?

Asked on August 5, 2019 under Family Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Even when not married, it is not a given or automatic that the mother receives full custody: while that is certainly most common, the courts look to what is in the child's best interest and could award custody to the father if the mother is, for example, a drug user, incarcerated, mentally unfit, etc. 
And that is what the courts will do once you are married, too--look to the child's best interest. The courts will look to who has been the child's primary caregiver, who the child is more closely bonded with, the mental/emotional/etc. stability of the parents, and make a custody decision based on what is best for the child.

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