When unmarried parents split, they may not enlist help from the court to settle child support and custody matters.
Most dads are eager to continue supporting their kids after a breakup, but a bitter co-parent can try to interfere and refuse to take it. Fortunately, you have options even though you were never legally married.
Why would a parent reject child support?
Some relationships end so poorly that one parent may want nothing more to do with the other. They may think that because you never got married, they can deny your efforts to support your child.
Other times, one or both parents may be financially secure enough that they never had a reason to consider child support. Either or both simply meet their children’s needs as they arise. However, a disagreement can threaten the rights of unwed dads with no legal protection.
Children benefit from the support and love of both parents. Even more, they have the legal right to receive parental financial support. That means your co-parent has no right to deny your payments.
What should you do?
Unmarried dads can and should protect their parental rights. The first step is to establish that you are the father of your children. In Ohio, you and your co-parent can sign a form agreeing you are the father. If this is not an option, you can undergo genetic testing to prove your paternity.
Once proven, you can seek a court order that allows you to share in your children’s lives and contribute to their support without interference from your co-parent. Consider obtaining legal guidance when establishing paternity, especially if you expect strong resistance from your ex.