Who has Custody of a Child if there is no Court Order?

Who has Custody of a Child if there is no Court Order?

Who has Custody of a Child if there is no Court Order?

Custody orders are mostly dependent upon whether the parents are married or not. If the couple is married and they undergo some legal procedures to get their marriage terminated, in a majority of the cases, the court gives the orders on the custody of the children. In a settlement where a couple has a child without getting married, they tend to wonder as to who may hold the sole legal custody of the child due to no order given by the court whatsoever. There are different conditions under which the parents can better understand as to who has custody if no court order, they are as follows:

Related: Top Reasons Mothers Can Lose Custody of a Child

If the parents of the child are married

In the case where the parents of the child are married, but there is no order for custody of the child, then each parent holds joint legal custody of the child. Each parent tends to hold equal rights and responsibility for the child until the court gives out any order. In a scenario where the parents do not agree with the terms or they tend to disagree as to where the child may live, the couple can approach the court for custody order, like file for a divorce and then claim for custody of the child. 

If the parents of the child are divorced

In case a legal settlement is done between the parents like they have filed for dissolution of marriage or a divorce, the court gives the order for the custody of the child based upon the circumstances. The most recent court order relevant to the custody of the child is the one that should be followed throughout. In case any of the parties oppose the orders given by the court, they can allege for the custody order and have the previous custodian rights to be revoked at any point in time. 

If the parents were never married

In this particular scenario, it is a common occurrence whether or not if there is no court order which has custody. It is assumed that the mother of the child holds the legal custody of the child until an appropriate order is given out by the court. In simple words, for any child that is born out of wedlock, the mother holds the sole legal custody of the child unless the court orders otherwise. 

It is a given that if a child is living with the mother, she is considered as the one holding the physical custody of that child. You do not need a court order until some relative or the father of the child wants the custody of the child. There are some cases where the father likes to have custody when the parents are not even married. It is important that the father actually establishes grounds to prove his paternity and request the court for the custody order accordingly. Similarly, there have been cases where the father would illegally snatch away the child from the mother. In such cases, the father is to be held guilty by all means because, in such a settlement where there is no court order whatsoever, the mother has the custodian rights. The mother has full rights to report to the police as well to demand protection for herself as well as the child from the father. 


It is fairly easier to settle a child’s custody issues when the couple goes through court. The issues only arise when there is no court order with respect to who might hold the custodian rights of the child. It is common for unmarried couples to have children and then part ways, and there is no formal agreement in place for the custody of your child because this does not imply that both the parents hold joint legal custody. In every situation where there is no court order in place for the custody of a child, the mother holds the main rights and responsibilities anyhow.

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