When you and your child’s parent are not married, it can make life a little more difficult. The father of the child likely has to pay child support, and you have to designate visitation times and custody arrangements. In reality, it’s similar to how people who go through a divorce have to raise their children, but they have the divorce to worry about at the same time.
In a situation like yours, the benefit is that the only thing you have to worry about is putting your child first. It’s important to make sure that the child’s father is known, either by seeking a paternity test or by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. Once this is done, then you know that your child has another parent who is legally responsible for their care as well.
As the mother of a child, you’re usually the one who will be responsible for primary caregiving activities if you and the child’s father do not live together or are not married. It’s a good idea to speak with the child’s father to try to set up a parenting plan that gives your child plenty of time with the father as well as with you. While it’s hard to imagine your child not being with you, it’s good for you to have a break from caring for a child on your own.
Our website has more on paternity and custody arrangements, so you can learn more about your child’s rights and the responsibilities parents owe to their children. A little help can make a difference in cases like yours.