In contrast to divorce, most paternity cases involve only child custody, visitation, and child support. If you are not married, you cannot request alimony or medical coverage for yourself. However, if you own property together, in order to divide it you will have to file a separate “equity” action, in addition to a Complaint for Paternity.
As in a marriage, a parent is legally obligated to provide support for his or her child, to provide or contribute to health insurance for the child, and to contribute to college costs. A non-custodial parent also has rights of visitation with the children. There is a presumption of joint legal custody, meaning that both parents are to confer and try to agree on major decision affecting the child’s welfare.
Some people believe that marriage will make the dissolution of a relationship more complicated, but actually being unmarried makes the break-up more complicated if the parties own a house, or one party has lived in the other parties’ house for a long time and contributed to the costs. They may seek an equitable share of the home or other assets to which they have contributed.