Hello my name is Theresa Daniels and one of my practice areas is marital and family law. This includes divorce, paternity, child support, domestic violence, or modification of existing parenting plans or child support orders. Many of the questions I receive are regarding paternity. Generally if a woman has a child, and she and the father have never been married, by statute the mother is the natural guardian of the child, and she holds all the cards. She’s entitled the primary residential care and custody of the child until the court says otherwise.
However if child support has been established without a parenting plan or a timesharingschedule through the courts, whichever parent receives the child support should be entitled to all of the time sharing and soul parental responsibility, meaning they get to make all of the decisions regarding the child. So, if you are a father who has never been married to the child’s mother, and not in the rare position of receiving courtordered child support, you may be at the mother’s mercy regarding timesharing decisionmaking and even receiving information about your child.