When you and your child’s father are not married, it may sometimes be difficult to share custody. Your child needs support from both parents, so it is important to have a visitation order and a child support order. 

When you and your child’s father are not married, you may not share custody. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you may have a visitation order instead that outlines how often your child will see his or her father. A court typically looks at the relationship you have with your child’s father and your child’s age to find an appropriate visitation order. 

Write a parenting plan 

It is a good idea to create a parenting plan so you and your child’s father are on the same page. This plan should usually specify when your child will spend time with his or her father and how long these visits will last. If your child’s father is a hands-on parent, you should also include information about your child’s healthcare and education. You may want to speak on a regular basis so you can make choices about your child’s upbringing. Additionally, it is a good idea to coordinate your calendars so you both know your child’s schedule. 

Establish child support 

It is a good idea to make sure you have a child support order so your child’s father can help pay for school supplies, clothing and transportation. You may want to keep a record so you know how much you received each month and where the money went. If you and your child’s father get along, you may think you do not need an official child support order. However, an official order may be helpful if you have a dispute about payments.