Will My Custody Rights Be Challenged if I Wed?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

My daughter’s father moved to another state and we have been separated for almost a year (we aren’t married). My current boyfriend proposed and I would like to know if I can marry my fiancée and keep my daughter if her father files for custody? Or do I have to wait until he files for custody? I am at this moment the sole parent of my child.

You’r act of marriage will not have an impact on your custody case directly. However, there may be some indirect legal issues that can arise as a result most likely pertaining to child support. Most courts prefer to foster a child’s relationship with both parents. Unless there is domestic violence or other unsafe issues at hand, you should be able to retain custody of your daughter regardless if you decide to marry or not. Follow-up with a family law attorney in your local to get legal advice about your matter.