Is an Unmarried Father Responsible for Child Support?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“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?”

Question: 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.