Are you afraid after finding out your partner is pregnant? Maybe you have second thoughts and are struggling to find answers. You don’t have to navigate this season alone.

It’s important to understand your legal rights regarding an unexpected pregnancy. Legally, unmarried fathers are still financially responsible for a child and must establish paternity (when you are the legal biological father).

Responsibilities for Unmarried Fathers

Legally, if a father is not named on a birth certificate, his paternity can be challenged, so proving that he is the biological father will be necessary. Custody rights are not guaranteed to the father, though. It’s ultimately up to the courts.

In cases where a father denies paternity of the child and the father doesn’t cooperate with genetic testing as ordered by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the mother and the alleged father will have to begin a court process to determine paternity. 

Ultimately, you and your partner will need to agree whether you desire to be in your child’s life or not. Your responsibility will vary based on you and your partner’s unique situation.

Am I Financially Responsible?

In Alabama, child support is not dependent on child custody. If Alabama courts determine that you will have to make support payments, you must do so by the law. Penalties for not paying could include jail time.

You Will Always be a Father

While the truth can seem overwhelming, you will always be a father, whether you have a relationship with your child or not. You still can decide what’s best for you. 

If you need support along this journey as a new father, we are here to listen to your situation and support you. Whether you need someone to talk to about your concerns or you need parenting resources and support, we offer our services at no cost.

We offer parenting classes, medical referrals, community referrals, material assistance, and a program for fathers.

Schedule a free and confidential appointment to talk.

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