Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

You could contact one of the publicly funded pregnancy counselling agencies who will talk to you about all your options. See

No. Having the father’s name on the birth cert does not give him any guardianship rights in respect of his child. See our information on Guardianship, Access and Custody and Birth Registration.

An unmarried father has a responsibility to maintain his child but he has no responsibility to maintain the mother of his child. There is no fixed amount of maintenance. The only guideline available is that €150 is the most a father can be asked to pay per week per child in the local district court. There is no maximum amount in the circuit court. See our information on Maintenance. You could also have a look at our Expenses Sheet which might help you to work out maintenance payments together.

No. Generally it is good for a child to be in touch with her/his dad and dads should be paying maintenance if they can afford it. But one doesn’t depend on the other. For further information see Shared Parenting and Treoir’s “Family Links” booklet.

This depends on whether he is a joint guardian or not. If he is a guardian his signature is required. If he is not a guardian, his signature is not required. For further information see our information on Passports.

Research shows that children appreciate any contact with both parents, no matter how little. However, it is best if contact can take place in an atmosphere where there is no conflict. For further information see Shared Parenting and Treoir’s “Family Links” booklet.

Contact one of the agencies listed in Establishing Paternity.

In Access and Custody you will find ways of arranging access to children where this is difficult – either by talking to each other, with the help of a mediator or collaborative lawyer or, as a last resort, going to court.

No. Whether or not the father’s name is on the birth cert you will be asked to try and get maintenance from the father for his child. For further information see Maintenance and Money if you are not working outside the home

You must have a court order (for access, custody or guardianship) to do this. For further information see Birth Registration.

No. About half of what the father pays will be deducted from your Allowance. For further information see Maintenance and Money if you are working outside the home.

The first €165 of weekly earnings is disregarded.  About half of the remainder of your wages is counted as means. For further information see Money if you are working outside the home.

It is very important that you make a will setting out who you would like to be guardian and who you would like to care for your daughter in the event of your death. This is especially important if you are your child’s only guardian. Most Citizens Information Centres have Free Legal Advice in their Centres on certain nights and you could get advice there about making a will. For your nearest centre LoCall: 0818 07 4000.

See Guardianship for more information.