The Next Chapter

Divorce Resources for Women

Does My Child’s Father Have to Pay Child Support if We Were Never Married?

Share with a friend

Many couples become confused with the child support and custody arrangement when they were not married before or after their child was born. However, once you become a parent, there are immediate rights and responsibilities attached. Knowing these rights and responsibilities is crucial in a child support and custody case.

child support


The most beneficial first step in this case is to retain an experienced Tulsa child support attorney as soon as possible to preserve these rights and enforce the responsibilities on the other.

Parental Rights

In Oklahoma, there are several inherent rights parents have. First of all, parents have the right to seek custody, which is based on the “best interest of the child” in Oklahoma and most other states.

Parents also have to right to seek visitation time, be informed about their child’s school location and performance, and current medical issues and doctors visits. Keeping appraised of events in your child’s life is important to bonding and consistency.

Along the same lines, parents have the right to participate in decisions relating to education and healthcare. Lastly, parents have the right to receive notice and appear in court before parental rights are terminated.

Parental Responsibilities

There are also inherent responsibilities parents are given once a child is born. These responsibilities attach regardless of whether the couple is married or not.

Education and various types of support of the child is required of parents. Support includes spiritual support, educational support, emotional support, and financial support. These factors are heavily weighted when determining child custody after a couple separates.

Because financial support is a responsibility and requirement of each parent, and because Oklahoma is a shared-income state – which means child support is based on the assumption that both parents would financial support the child – child support is a responsibility of the noncustodial parent. This is true regardless if you were married or not.

Courtroom Procedure

In many cases where the couple is not married, the Petition for Custody will include a paternity element where paternity must be established. The presumption is that an unwed mother has automatic custody of her child unless a court order says otherwise.

Many child custody attorneys suggest mediating out of court because it can be less expensive and produce a more favorable outcome for both parties. A parenting plan that includes both a custody agreement and a support agreement is created and your child support attorney can file the agreement with the court.

If a father chooses to pursue a paternity action in order to gain custody, a support order is usually attached to the custody order. A mother can also file a paternity action in order to establish support for a parent that is refusing to contribute financially.

A skilled child support attorney is necessary to help navigate this type of case. In some instances, mediating out of court is more beneficial. It is important to remember that unless a court order states otherwise, an unmarried mother is assumed to have full legal and physical custody.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Child Support Attorney

Whether you and the other parent were married or not, the noncustodial parent is required to pay child support. If you don’t have a child support attorney properly presenting your case, the process may become more complicated than it needs to be.

Hiring a knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorney will ensure the process is expertly conducted and your interests are well represented.

Contact an experienced Tulsa divorce attorney when you need to go through the Oklahoma relocation process.

For a free confidential consultation, call now: 918-924-5526.

The post Does My Child’s Father Have to Pay Child Support if We Were Never Married? appeared first on Tulsa Divorce Attorney.


Comments are closed.