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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43 comments on “Do I pay child support if we are living together but not married?

    My son lives with his girlfriend n her parents he works she just told me she was going to file for child support can she do that even though they live together?

    We just moved to Wisconsin a couple of years ago. We are currently expecting our second child any day now. Our first was born in Michigan 4 years ago.
    We are not married, have never separated, and don’t plan on it.
    I was unable to get on his health insurance because we aren’t married.
    I applied for Badger Care insurance when I was 3 months pregnant and did so over the phone with a case worker. I explained to her our living situation and included my partner’s income when I applied with her.
    I just now received a letter about child support, stating I had an appointment scheduled for 2 days ago, but I was never notified until now. I was never told about child support when I applied to health care and it was never mentioned to me.
    I don’t understand what our rights are as this insurance is only for me and expires I February. We spoke to my partner’s insurance and the baby will be covered under only his insurance immediately when they are born.
    Our oldest child has special needs and is covered under my partner’s insurance and separately under Katie Beckett for his disabilities. He is no way tied to my insurance.
    I do not wish to pursue child support and I read a document that stated that those unmarried couples with an older child and father’s income included when first applying for health care assistance, may eliminate father from paying back the birth costs.

    What law allows the state to sue the father for birth costs and why was this never relayed to us when I first applied? We could have saved up and prepared whatever costs we occurred? We were told what was covered and payed out of pocket what was not….and now suddenly we have to pay more because we aren’t married?!!!! How is this legal and ethical?

    Did you get this figured out? I’m currently in Wisconsin and going through the same thing. The lady told me “fill out the paperwork and send it in even though we live together so they can make sure the birth certificate gets filled out correctly.” Um I’m pretty sure we can figure out how to fill out a birth certificate.

    My son lives with his girlfriend every since the baby had been born and she is now three years old he has been living there the whole time and she lied and said he does not live there so do I have to still pay child support even if I live there.She is on public assistance and his daughter is on her grant.What are his options.She has been getting money every two weeks from his check which is 50.00 since then he’s been unemployed and the child support is adding up can he take her to court to get the money back because she falsified every thing from the beginning.

    My son lives with his girlfriend every since the baby had been born and she is now three years old he has been living there the whole time and she lied and said he does not live there so do I have to still pay child support even if I live there.She is on public assistance and his daughter is on her grant.What are his options.She has

    My child’s father and I are not married but spent ten years together. We live under the same roof. Basically, same story everywhere, he cheats and has control of the money. I have no family to help me leave and we have one car that he used to go to work. I live in WISCONSIN but I am from NC. Would I be able to file for child support?

    I have a 5yo daughter, i applied and was approved for Medicaid when i got pregnant. All this time has passed and i have been with my SO all this time except for a few months we split. We got back together. We married in November 2017… December 17 he was served with child support papers for my daughter put in place by the state. How does that work now that we are married. We live in texas…

    I need help with my situation. I was with someone for a year when he was separated from his wife. When I got pregnant he left me and went back to his wife. They currently live together and he pays her child support that he also uses to pay his own expenses. Someone told me I would only get 14% of his check and the wife still gets 27% since they have 3 kids together. Is this something I can fight? Im the only supporting the baby and he hasn’t seen her since she was born, they share income and he sees his kids so I don’t see why he pays her child support still

    i work full time in nebraska, we have 3 children and one on the way he helped up until our 1st child turned 2 1/2. he does not do anything now for years.i claim him as a dependant on my taxes we never married. never bought clothes shoes diapers, he refuses to work he does not pay rent or bills he doesnt even buy the soap and toilet paper he uses to clean himself. i had no dad and figured at least hes there…. but its gotten to the point he needs to go, but if i kick him out i know he will move out of state and never send his kids a cent. what rights do i have? how can i force him to work and pay for his kids? can i have his bank acc frozen? he is verbally abusive and i dont want our children to think that it is ok to be selfish and direspectful pieces of crap! in nebraska the state made me file once for child support and he threatened to break everything in the house and leave the kids alone when i was at work if i didnt make the child support”go away” i dont know what to do. i have no family and cant afford child care and wont qualify for child care until after he is gon and i get a order of support. but he probally would not even show up for court.

    Living w father of my 2 children. We’ve been together for about 16 yrs but are unmarried. Living in PA. I want to file for child support so I can leave him. I can’t leave him now bc I’m w/o money or resources. He works 9-10pm everyday except Monday. I take care of children, too young for school still. I’m kind of lost with my situation. Please help

    I am I a similar situation. Trying leave but no money. I have been seeking employment (lost job in Jan 2017) but nothing still. I do have to take care of son as if I was a single mom. I’ve been with him 9 years. On Medicaid since job loss in the process of getting SNAP food assistance. Meanwhile, sons father intentionally not buying nutritional food or much of anything to provide for son thinking it will hurt me and not his child. He is a mental manipulator and plays sick head games with intent to patronize and gets off on anything that may make it difficult for me to move forward and leave. Welfare will not do anything about the food situation because he is in household and his income counts. He needs to submit income which he may refuse to hey back at me. Don’t know what to do

    I have been living with my ex and our daughter for the last 2 years in my co op NY apt. We haven’t been getting a long and I asked her to move out. After 8 months of arguments and her hitting me in front of our daughter she finally is moving out. She is not on the lease. Can she take my apt from me? If so what do I need to do?

    By the way I am paying her 330 a week in child support and she gives me nothing as she lives rent free. I allowed this cause I was able to close to our daughter.

    If she isn’t on the lease then she has no right to the property. And if she refuses to leave you can legally call the police to have her removed

    I separate from my girlfriend we have two kids and I was on child support now we are back together do i have to keep paying child support

    My ex boyfriend and I have a son. My ex used to live with us but never helped pay for the baby. I managed to get him to write me a check once. He flat out told me he couldn’t afford to pay his part to take care of our son. He never helped with our rent either. Our son and I have caresource so me ex is off the hook on insurance too. I’ve been trying to get state aid but haven’t been able to because he was there. Since he never paid rent he moved back in with his mom. Any time I every try to talk to him about our son he blows me off. He hasn’t contacted us in 2 months. He’s never cared about mine or the baby’s safety it’s always just been about him.

    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

    So I’m trying to find out. My sons father an I are getting married. But how long will it take for them to drop the child support an will he still have to pay the back child support even though he has been paying like he suppose to but they are messing him over saying he isn’t paying but they take it out his check automatically.

    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?

    No if you are dad you won’t be able to stop child support until the child is 18 and graduated school

    This is not true Maddie , in some states if there is an agreement the support order can be put on hold or canceled. Now it can be started again at any time so there is nothing really preventing someone from starting it up again. Also, it can go beyond 18 depending. Additionally, there are other options available for people who are looking to get rid of the order because the couple is now on good terms. There are even options for fathers who are in poverty due to child support. You should meet with a local lawyer to discuss your options and what you want to do.

    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?

    If you file the child support paperwork, then there will be a court hearing for said child support. What he has to pay will be determined by both of your income, and child custody agreement

    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

    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.

    In my state, you don’t have any right to child support from anyone except your ex regardless of whether or not they’re remarried. The only exception is if your ex stops working and is fully dependent on the new spouse. Then, they can go after the new spouse for the amount of child support originally ordered. But that’s the only time. As far as taxes go, they can seize taxes filed jointly, but the spouse without child support obligations can file to have their portion refunded to them. It can definitely be done, it just takes forever and is a big hassle. I’d just file separately and save the time and energy.

    Ok me and my bf have a seven month old baby girl we are together but not living we live in separate houses I have our daughter even tho we ain’t living together dose he still have to pay child support

    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 ??

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

    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?

    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

    im 15 and my dad had 3 other kids before me but they seperated and were still living together when my annt filed child support dose this mean he still has to pay because she still lives with me my mom and dad this isnt fair he can’t work and is going to court over it today he has arthritis in his hands and feet he cant walk so i need an answer plz fast

    child support living together
    Me and my boyfriend just had a baby boy august this year. He has a kid from a previous relationship as well and he has been paying for him $150 every two weeks. they are very mature about the situation, well now we recieved a court order for him from his ex ( even though she said she never filed :/) well me and him, even though we live together my money is mine and his money is his. But I had lost my job and am on unemployment. Now if I need any extra help cause unemployment dont give that much I do ask him for help. Well now she wants more money from him she wants full custody and she wants him to pay for all medical(even though she has medicaid) and also pay for preschool. And she only works about 15 hours a week at cvs. not to mention has no bills cause she lives with her parents and drives her parents van. Now my concern is that I depend on him alot more cause I dont have that much help, can I take him to court and get money for child support? because I’m afraid that if the judge favors all her requests ( which in NJ almost allll judges favor the mother) me and him wont be able to survive between rent and bills and all her demands 🙁 And not too mention I have three other kids from a previous relationship, where I have never gotten child support for, so my current boyfriend also helps take care of them. Please someone help!

    If he doesn’t make more money n he’s a great dad as far as visits drugs keeping a job they won’t change the order unless he gets s a raise unless she loses her job then she may have a chance, i wouldnhonestly just try to get back to work asap n be able to let them deal so ur not in between there problem n she can’t say anything bout ur money, if u get married that could change

    im pregnant and i live with my fiance and so does he have to pay child support if we live together
    i just want to know if my fiance has to pay child support if we live together

    child support/ful custody
    My friend ahs been with her boyfriend for 5yr & they have 2 small girls.they have split couple times.This last time,she was pushed by others.She being forced ,went to her moms,taking just her clothes.He took her to court & lied about her family,was able to get temp-custody.Leaving dourthouse,he said I want my family back.She went back May16/12.Yet,he feels she hurt him so he wants garantee if she leaves again,he will have the girls.Hes going for ful custody & childsupport,even though they live togehter as family.??

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