If I’m pregnant and my boyfriend and I just broke up, what custody agreement can we make since we’re not married?

I just broke up with my boyfriend and I am 3 months pregnant. I want to come up with a legal arrangement that we can both agree on but everything I found online is for married couples. Is there something we can do since we’re not married?

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Family Law, New Jersey


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to be married to obtain a custody agreement. If you are three months pregnant, he should be helping with medical expenses and expenses to prepare for the arrival of the child, and then after the birth, the costs of child care if applicable, food, milk, diapers and toys. Further, he should be helping with taking care of the child and you need to decide if you wish to have full custody or share custody and what the visitation will look like. You cannot have a legally binding agreement without the court's approval because even if you come to a mutual agreement and both sign, you would not really be able to enforce it against him (and vice versa) unless the court has fully ordered this custody, visitation and support agreement.

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