Is an Unmarried Father Responsible for Child Support?

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“My girlfriend and I are overseas contractors working in the same area and she has recently become pregnant during our last R&R (vacation). She has a home in Phoenix, Arizona and I reside in Orlando, Florida. We are not married. I know this isn’t the most desirable scenario but it is possible; the relationship ends, we go our separate ways and we decide that she’ll have the child on her own without my involvement whatsoever. Are there any laws that obligate me to make any sort of ‘support payments’ even though we’re not married? I understand how child support works when a couple is married with children then get divorced. Is this the same?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Yes. You will have to pay child support whether you were ever married or not. The only thing which marriage affects is whether you pay spousal support (alimony) or not. You will have to pay child support even if you never see the child. The only way that you would not have to pay child support would be if your girl friend both never requests it, and never receives any state aid.



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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