Raising a child when unmarried? Establish paternity early on
You and your partner never wanted to get married, because neither of you believes in the institution of marriage. That’s fair enough, but now that you have a child on the way, it could make the situation a little more complex.
Throughout this process, you’ve both been talking about whether you want to stay together or not. Your partner had been talking about separation before she got pregnant due to your regular deployments, and now, you’re concerned that staying together for your child wouldn’t be a good idea.
You have a unique case, and you have a lot of questions. As unmarried parents-to-be, one thing that you will need to talk about sooner, rather than later, is custody. Initially, your child may need to be with his or her mother to breastfeed and bond, but as the father, you deserve to play a role in your child’s early days as well. The good thing is that both you and your partner are on good terms, so even if you do separate, you’re still willing to co-parent and be respectful and responsible about your child’s care and relationships.
As the father of a child who is being born out of wedlock, you should take steps to get a DNA test to establish paternity, even if you know that you’re the father. It helps you legally if there is ever a question of paternity. It also guarantees your parental rights.
This is new and uncharted territory for you both, but with the right support, you’ll make it through and work out custody and visitation with your child, so that both of you are there to support them as they grow.