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Domestic Partnerships and Children: Priceless Advice for Unmarried Parents Who Are Splitting Up

With the amount of people not getting married at an all-time high, it’s relatively common nowadays for couples to remain unmarried and still have children.

With recent statistics suggesting up to a huge 85% of relationships will result in a break up, unmarried parents are facing confusion surrounding rights to their children more than ever. If you’re unmarried and facing an impending split from your partner, below you’ll find advice that will outline everything you need, giving you the tools to make the circumstances as comfortable as possible for both yourself and your children.

 Try to work things out yourselves first

Whilst some relationship break-ups are messy, some can be completely amicable and mutual. If you and your partner feel capable of working things out on your own without dispute, try this out first to see if you can come up with a diplomatic solution with regard to your children.

However, sometimes this isn’t possible for a lot of couples, especially if married and considering divorce. Websites such as can be extremely beneficial for couples seeking divorce advice but, if you’re unmarried, you have a higher chance of being able to resolve your differences alone. But, if this still isn’t an option, working with an attorney will significantly help to resolve challenges you’re likely to face.

Conforming paternity

If legal action is the route you want to take, establishing paternity is one of the first steps you’ll undergo. The court will request access to the birth certificates of your children, and will take the father’s name on the certificate to be the child’s legal father. However, either yourself or your partner are completely within your rights to request a genetic paternity test at any point during the legal process if you feel it’s necessary.


Generally, joint custody is the most common outcome, and involves each parent having the exact same rights to their children. This includes important decision making and the amount of physical time spent with them.

However, if you’re unable to agree on amicable joint custody terms, sole custody can be awarded with the other parent simply having visitation rights. For unmarried parents, there are a variety of different factors the court will consider to establish the most appropriate custody solution. The interests of your children will always be at the top of the list and are likely to be the key factor that will determine your outcome.

Child support

Even unmarried parents are legally obliged to financially support their children, and the court will establish how much each parent should be paying from a variety of different factors. These include the individual income of each parent, how much each parent spends on essential expenses (housing, medical bills etc.)

A relationship separation is always difficult in some way but, with the right help and advice, you can ease the strain on your children and establish solutions that have everyone’s best interests at heart.

Ann McCarthy works at a busy law office. She mostly writes about divorce and domestic partnership matters, sharing her knowledge around the web.

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