When a child is born to a couple that is not married, it is important for both parents to sign off on a Recognition of Parentage form, for custody and parenting time purposes, as well as for child support purposes. A father’s right to custody or parenting time is established easily by a Recognition of Parentage, whereas without a Recognition of Parentage, the father is more likely to need genetic proof of paternity.
If a married couple separates, each party has the right to custody and parenting time by law, due to the marriage. If an unmarried couple with a child separates, the Recognition of Parentage provides a basis for determining custody, parenting schedule and child support issues. Without the Recognition of Parentage, determination of those issues is delayed while parentage is proven unless the parties both agree not to contest parentage.