What would happen if my girlfriend got pregnant and gave birth to our child? Who would get custody of our child? How much child support would I have to pay? Would either of us have to drop out of school? What are the worst-case and best-case scenarios? I read the Indiana Parenting Guidelines, and they said that, to start off the first year or so, the non-custodial parent only gets one night per week.

Ideally, I want to split parenting responsibilities like my parents did. But she said that all her life she wanted to be a stay-at-home home school mom like her mom was. What if she quits school and her job to stay at home, will I have to financially support our family all by myself? What if I lose my job, do I have to go to court to lower child support? What if one of us moves to a different state? What if we get married? What if we get divorced? Will I have to pay alimony? What if I go crazy or flee the country? I feel scared, and I am looking for honesty and reassurance. I am also starting to see the value of abstinence (if it's not already too late).

Update: In order to narrow down the scope, my question is: How can we set up shared earning/shared parenting marriage in our situation?

  • 1
    You are asking a lot of questions, many of which have nothing to do with the law. I suggest you narrow the scope of this question significantly.
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 17:56
  • You can delete paragraph 2 completely, it's unneeded information.
    – Insane
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 18:00
  • @Insane I guess you're right, so I deleted the second paragraph to narrow down the question.
    – Dan Salvay
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 18:48
  • 3
    @DanSalvay I think you should probably start using a condom because putting it on at the last second really makes no difference, in fact kind of is annoying vs doing it at the beginning.
    – Insane
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 18:55
  • 2
    My initial gut reaction to the question was "she'd have a baby, miscarry, or have an abortion." But, that would be a biology question and not a legal one.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


From the legal perspective, the most important step is establishing legal paternity. IN Code 16-37-2-2.1 covers the process of establishing paternity via affidavit, which has to be executed in a prescribed and timely manner and with cooperation by both parties. Paternity can also be established by court action (very complex). With legal paternity established, then in terms of parental rights and responsibilities, it is immaterial that you are not married. If you don't live together, then the question of custody and visitation, and child support, would need to be resolved (with a lawyer involved).

This article surveys the situation with Indiana Law w.r.t. unwed fathers (see especially section III), though most of it is about the situation where actual paternity is distinct from legal paternity.

  • Thank you for the time in writing your response, and I will read the links that you recommended.
    – Dan Salvay
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 20:22

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