There's a common misconception that divorce law always involves marriage.
Why's that wrong? Simply put, divorce law involves
any situation where two people cohabitate, share property, and above all else,
bear children together. It doesn't necessarily constitute a marriage
agreement or certificate. However, there are certain rights and situations
that can differ between, in this case, an unwed father and a married father.
Pay close attention.
Take this case between Plotnick vs. DeLuccia, for instance, a case firmly
recorded in case law and explored at great length as far as the differentiation
between unwed fathers and what's expected of them. In this situation,
we have the defendant (the mother) who had ended the engagement in the
summer of 2013 with a temporary mandatory injunction ordered by the Plaintiff
(the father) due to a pregnancy. The terms were as follows: that the father
be notified when mother enters into labor, that he be present during the
time of delivery, that he'd be able to sign the child's birth
certificate, that the child would carry the father's name, and that
a parenting-time schedule be situated.
He's definitely getting all the ducks in a row. However, the fact that
the father wasn't married to the mother – due to the mother
ending the engagement, it was determined by the court that he had no right
to insist he should be allowed to be notified and present during the delivery.
Stipulations regarding his name, signing the birth certificate, and establishing
parenting time, though, remained givens. That's nothing short of an
interesting combination of rights, determined by the mother's right
to privacy and level of stress during a pregnancy.
In other words, if you're an unwed father, you truly don't even
have a right to be in the same room as the mother of your child while
she delivers the baby. This is according to the court system. Do the research
in your particular area, though, as this may differ from state to state.
It's important that you do.