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

    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.

    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?

    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?

    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!

    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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