In order to determine a mother’s rights in child custody, a court first considers whether the child was born out of wedlock or not. Custody rules that apply to unmarried parents vary depending by jurisdiction.

Child custody is often complicated, but when the parents have a child out of wedlock, establishing parental rights can make the process of establishing child custody even more complicated.

When two people are unmarried and have a child together, by law the custody of the child is automatically awarded to the mother of the child. However, there are options for the biological father of the child to pursue custody.

The biological father of the child can petition the court for child custody rights. As the primary caretaker of the child, the mother has complete authority to make all decisions regarding the child’s welfare.