Paternity is the consideration of rights of a father in cases where the parties were never married, no father is listed on the birth certificate, paternity has not been established, and the only undisputed fact is that the mother gave birth to a child.

In this scenario, failing to commence a child custody proceeding, can have a number implications both in regard to financial support, as well as time-sharing and access to the child.

Paternity can be established in three (3) ways in the State of Idaho, voluntary acknowledgment at the time the child is born, DNA testing, or court order. A birth certificate is not a legal finding of paternity in the State of Idaho.

Until a custody schedule is established, you may have no legal authority providing you parenting time with your children. This means you have no way to ensure that the other parent allows you to spend time with your children.

In order to establish a custody schedule you must file an action for paternity (if it has not been established), custody, or both.
The court will enter a custody order that is in the best interest of the minor children as outlined in Idaho Code § 32-717.
Under Idaho Law custody is defined in two (2) ways: legal and physical. Legal custody is the decision-making rights of each parent. Physical custody is the actual time each parent shares with their children.

Under Idaho Code § 32-717B there is a presumption that parents should have joint custody of their children. This does not, however, mean that each parent shall have equal time with the children.

This presumption can be overcome if one parent is a habitual perpetrator of domestic violence as defined by Idaho Law.
A child support order may also be entered in your case. In Idaho, child support is based on the income of both parents, the number of overnights the children spend in each of your homes, the cost of insurance for your children, and the division of tax credits.