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New trend could present child custody issues for single parents

When many Utah residents think of co-parenting, they think of two formerly married parents who divorced but still want to work together to raise their children. However, "co-parenting" also refers to a relatively new trend involving single people coming to an agreement to have a child and parent together but not have any type of romantic relationship. While this option could work for some, it still brings child custody issues to the forefront.

Recent reports indicate that co-parenting has become more popular among individuals who want to have children but do not feel as if they have the time or desire to form a romantic relationship that may or may not lead to children. As a result, individuals can now utilize various websites that work to connect individuals who want to become parents without romantic ties. Prospective parents can look through profiles that list individuals' interests, parenting styles, religious beliefs and more in efforts to find a match.

The founder of one such site indicated that since 2011, his site has drawn over 30,000 users and continues to grow. This option could be attractive to individuals who want to have children but would rather not use a surrogate or sperm donor. Instead, many users believe this option could allow the child to have two parents, even if those parents are not married or even romantically involved.

While having children out of wedlock is not new or uncommon, it can come with a host of legal issues to consider. Child custody arrangements do not only apply to parents who have divorced, and if Utah residents are considering this co-parenting trend or have had a child out of wedlock, it is important that they protect their parental rights. Working with an experienced family law attorney could help parents ensure that their custody arrangements suit their circumstances.

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