Does an unwed mother have the same rights to child support as a wed mother in Beis Din? (Child is not a mamzer) How would Beis din set up custody?

On another note can Beis din mandate that a father be present in a child’s life?

What are the fathers obligations at the time of Bris, Pidyon HaBen etc.,? How does it work with an unwed couple that don’t plan on getting married?

  • If I remember correctly, in Judaism the default rights go to the father (custody, etc) not to the mother, regardless if they are married. If they are not married, the father must pay the mother to take care of the child (nurse, etc), since she has no obligations to him, and it's considered that she is doing a service to him, whose job it is to take care of his child.
    – Esther
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 15:24
  • see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/28617/…
    – Esther
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 16:42
  • Please break these questions out one at a time, but the answer is absolutely, a father is obligated in child support at least for a couple of years. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef says this is actually something like a tort case -- you've caused this woman to have a screaming, needy being clinging to her. In the modern-day world it's not uncommon to say child support is needed until 18, and thus some batei din will follow that as well.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 20:33
  • The Bris and Pidyon Haben are the father's obligations. If he's dead or lost, then the mother of the Beis Din take care of it. But we know where he is and he refuses to show up, then the beis din can charge him whatever fees are involved because it's his obligation.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 20:34
  • As for demanding the father be a part in life of the child ... that one's going to be a toughie. The default arrangement used to be that until age 6 (and for girls of all ages), "best interest of child" meant being with mom. Anyhow it's unclear how much they can force this one -- more likely they can advise what would be helpful, and if he refuses to do the right thing, they can probably charge him more child support to fill in for whatever can be monetized.
    – Shalom
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 20:36


Browse other questions tagged .