If you are not married, and were, or are, in a relationship with a person who is pregnant with your child, you can secure your parental rights! When pregnant either mom or dad can file a ‘paternity action‘ to establish the father and address custody, visitation & support.

Specifically, a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship is filed and served on the other party.  Both parents will go to mediation and then to trial to formalize a parenting schedule once the child is born.

Establishing the father can also be accomplished by voluntarily signing a Declaration of Paternity and filing this with Child Support Services.  However, this will not address Custody & Visitation which would have to be specified in the Family Court.

When dealing with the unborn child, reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses may be a factor.  Once the child is born, child support plus half the uninsured health-care costs as well as 1/2 child care costs may need to be calculated.

If you have questions about child support, custody & visitation, please consult with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys who can advise you and explain your options.  In addition, our Flat Fees make it affordable.  We can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com .

Reader Interactions


  1. My daughter is pregnant and due in sept. The baby daddy wants her to sign papers so that he does not have to pay or have any rights to this baby. Yet his friends have been harassing her to have an abortion which she would never do. Can he sign his rights over like that and never have any responsibility for this child?

    • Sheila:
      No, he cannot! The only time a father can give up the rights to a child is if the child is adopted. It sounds like your daughter needs some legal advice. Please call our offices @ 818-246-0073 Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm to discuss.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  2. My son ex girlfriend is pregnant and wants to put the unborn child for adoption is that possible or my son still have right even that were not sure is his baby!
    We need what can we do!

    • This is a difficult situation. Your son could ask her to voluntarily take a DNA test to determine if the child is his. If she doesn’t wish to do this and he wishes to proceed, he could file a paternity action and ask for a paternity test. If the results of the paternity test show that he is not the father, he would not proceed. If he is the father he would proceed with the paternity action.
      Hope this helps!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  3. Me and my wife are having a baby….recently things have went bad in are relationship so she wants a divorce….I have asked her if I can be apart of my babys life and she told me no…that I will not know when the baby is born and my name will not go on the birth ceritifcate…I’m scared and nervous that I wont be apart of my childs life…I’m a father who wants to be apart of my childs life….she is 18 weeks pregnant and only been to the doctor once and they said she was probably due around Feburary 14…and told me she wasn’t going back to the doctors or hospital until the baby was born….So I do not even know if the baby has the potential to be born before that….please if anyone can help me please…

    • This is a difficult situation. At this point you can file for divorce and have her served. You would then go to court and address your rights to the unborn child. In effect you will be addressing custody, visitation and support for the child when he/she is born. You may also address other issues. It’s important to note that you have rights which cannot be denied as long as the child is yours and the pregnancy goes to term. If you are in the LA County area, we can help @ 1-800-HELP-444.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  4. My cousins baby’s mom doesn’t want him to be there in the delivery room when she gives birth. There not married what can he do in order to be there?

    • It would be best for your cousin to file a ‘paternity action’ to establish himself legally as the father. In this process, he would address custody, visitation and support for the child once he/she is born. When he has fatherhood legally established–he may be able to be present for the birth–but this is dependent on a number of factors. It would be best for your cousin to speak with an attorney who can discuss this more fully.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  5. My boyfriend (whom I am having a baby with) is also having a baby with his previous girlfriend. If we move out of state will that affect his chances to gain custody of his other child?
    We will be moving due to job opportunities , we both work and have a stable living environment. I support him getting custody due to her past drug use. She does not have a place to live and has two other children that her mom are caring for. We do not want to move if it will affect his chances. He already is taking parenting classes by his own choice not court ordered. Should we move or stay in the same state as the unborn child?

    • Depending on the circumstances, the dad will have a better chance to have specific visitation with the child if he lives close. You will have to weigh the advantages for a job versus visitation with the child. Be advised, that he can still get visitation with the child if he moves but more than likely it will be less visitation especially when the child is so young.
      Hope this helps!

  6. I am 6months pregnant and left my boyfriend due to verbal abuse and obessivness also has lead me to seek a psychological help due to the relationship and still afraid of my boyfriend even now,what can i do to have full custody of my unborn baby due to fear of my boyfriend being emotionally unstabable.

    • You have some options. If your boyfriend is abusive and threatening you, you may wish to file a restraining order with the intent of stopping this behavior. You can also file a paternity action which would establish the father and address custody & visitation for the unborn child. You can also wait and do this once the child is born. If you wait, you will also address child support. These are choices–a consultation with the lawyer will help you decide which is in your best interest. If you are in California, you may call us for further help @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

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