Being a parent means having certain rights. These rights include the right to seek custody of the child, have visitation, be informed about the child’s education and health, as well as, participation in the decision-making about education and medical care. Also, it means you have to be notified and heard before a court terminates any parental right. Being a parent also means having certain responsibilities to your child. These responsibilities include the education and necessary support of the child. These responsibilities exist whether or not the parents were ever married. It is important to understand that being a parent does not automatically give you visitation rights. Being a parent gives you the right to "seek" visitation. A custody order can help define and enforce those rights and responsibilities.
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