There are 3 major legal issues related to unmarried parents.  First, is establishing paternity.  Second is child support and third is visitation.

For Paternity to be established, you have to show that you are the legal parent. Typically, this is done by both parents signing a form in the hospital or the City or Town Clerk’s office where the child was born. Further, you can ask for a Court Order regarding genetic marking test.  By establishing paternity, the child has rights that include financial support from the father; access to medical; history of the father in case of illness or disease; and the benefits of the father such as Social Security, Pension and Health Insurance and so forth

The second is Child Support.  Child Support is a way that parents who do not live together to have responsibility for the child in terms of finances. The other parent needs income to provide food, clothing, housing, transportation and so forth. It can be through Court Order and either Department of Revenue takes it directly or the parent can pay the other parent directly.

Third is the parenting Order or a Visitation Order. This deals with custody as well.  Who has legal and physical custody and what sort of a parenting plan with the children may be in place.  Legal custody deals with the major decisions about the child’s school, religion, major health decisions and some other major activities.  Physical custody is who is the primary caretaker.  Usually, if the parents are able to work on a schedule on their own, but if they can’t agree, the court will determine what they think is in the child’s best interest.