When two parents are not married at the time a child is born, the father of the child may not automatically receive parental recognition or rights. In fact, the father may not enjoy many parental rights at all until he claims parentage through a declaration of paternity. Declarations of paternity are voluntary and assign parental rights to a father once completed.
When separated or divorcing parents face difficulty creating a parenting plan they both can both agree on, they may have more options than they realize. The court is primarily concerned with the best interests of the child, but prefers for parents to design a parenting plan that works for them and also places the best interests of the child as the highest priority. if a couple cannot reach a fair agreement otherwise, they may consider using family court services' mediation to work out a parenting plan they can both agree to.
The realities of compelling a parent with child support duties to actually pay that support in full and on time can get rather frustrating, especially when a parent who needs support sees another parent actively avoiding paying child support. While it is illegal to let one's child support obligations go unpaid, some sources of income make it easier for those who wish to keep more of their earnings instead of supporting their child.
When parents choose to raise a child separately, the process and parameters of the co-parenting relationship often evolve over time. In many cases, one parent may have reason to relocate some distance away from the other parent that fundamentally changes the nature of parenting between them.