Do I pay child support if we are living together but not married?


My girlfriend and I are having a baby. We are not married and do not want to get married. We live together in the same house. Do I have to pay child support since we live under the same roof and have no plans to separate?  Just asking since we’re unmarried.


It depends.  You should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction as I do not practice in Ohio.  That being said, I can lend some light as to how some states address child support when the parents are cohabitating but aren’t married.

When your child is born, there is a voluntary acknowledgement form that will be available for you to sign at the hospital.  If you sign this form, you are legally Dad.  As such, you or your girlfriend can go to court for an order establishing paternity and ordering custody, placement and child support arrangements.  If neither of you go to court, then there is no order for support.  However, in most states, without the paternity adjudication, you have no custody or placement rights.  It is much easier to come to agreements when both of you are getting along.  Therefore, if you both agree that you should have joint custody, shared placement and no child support, you should certainly obtain a court order establishing the same as soon as the baby is born.  In the event that you later separate, the terms are already in place.

If your girlfriend is receiving public assistance, the State may file a paternity action to re-coup birthing costs and to establish support for the child.  Many states have a statutory birthing cost that the father has to pay to the State if the mother was receiving public assistance at the time of birth.  If you sign the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, you have already declared that you are the father.  As such, the State will file an action adjudicating you as father and will ask for an order establishing a repayment of the birthing fees as well as an order for child support.  Even if the mother does not want support, the State will demand a child support order if the mother is still on public assistance.  If you later decide to marry, you may still be responsible for the remaining birthing costs as well as any child support arrears you may have accumulated.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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16 Comments on "Do I pay child support if we are living together but not married?"

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1 month 13 days ago

so .. in other words you’re screwed

John LaGoff
3 months 17 days ago

I moved in with the mother of my two sons. She had a 1500 electricity bill I played before it got cut off and the rent is 850.00 a month then I pay 400 child support she won’t pay half my kids don’t see nothing from my child support. I live in Wyo pls help the

6 months 9 days ago

I live in Texas, we are married and live together can she still file for child support?

7 months 15 days ago

my ex and I have a child together who is now 8 years old, I have been child support since 2009-2010 for her and now my ex and I are now married and living together, my question is can I request the child support to stop or does she have to do it and will she have to repay any monies to me since I’m still currently paying?

8 months 29 days ago

My boyfriend and I, resently had a baby we dont live together but we’re still in a relatonship does he have to pay child support? Or we cant be together for him to pay child support?

9 months 21 days ago

I just moved in with my boyfriend aback in October 2015. But I was just told that his ex wants to take him back to Cort for more child support and if she has to she wants to try for my income I just had a baby in march 2015 and am still on mat leave and the child I had is not even my boyfriend’s… can she take from me and my 2 kids ??? What can I do

Daisy Rivera
17 days 4 hours ago

The court will not include your income bc yall are not married. Legally you have no ties or responsibility for the child. Which is something you should take into consideration should you do decide to get married. Good luck.

1 year 5 months ago

My mom is married still but her husband cheated and she doesn’t want him to live there with her and she called the cops and they said he had the right is my mom frosted to live with him ??

Jennie fulmer
1 year 6 months ago

I was wondering in Memphis tn. If me and my boyfriend get married will his ex get my income tax?for child support?

1 year 7 months ago

Me and my boyfriend have 50%and50% costody (we separed once) ,now we are vack together and I found out that hi aplyed for child support …it’s that legal?

Eric Mata
1 year 9 months ago

Me and my wife are separated and our 3 kids are on my insurance so no government assistance me and my wife have an agreement on what I pay to her every week but the courts want me to pay child support through the courts do we have to do it that way or can we do it the way me and my ex wife agreed on