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Why unmarried fathers need to establish paternity

If you are married and have fathered a child, you will be considered that child's legal father in the eyes of the law. If you fathered a child outside of wedlock, however, there is no automatic "assumption" that you are the father. This means you will have to take some necessary steps to prove yourself a biological parent if you would like the same rights and privileges as a married father.

The methods of establishing paternity for unmarried fathers

If you are not married to your child's mother but were present when the child was born and the mother does not dispute your paternity, you and the child's mother can elect to name you the father before the child ever leaves the hospital. This is typically the easiest, least-intensive way for an unmarried father to establish paternity. If both parents agree you are the father after your child leaves the hospital, this, too, can prove your paternity, although there is sometimes more red tape involved with doing so after leaving the hospital. A third method of establishing paternity involves issuing a legal order for genetic testing, which may be ordered inside or outside of a courtroom.

Benefits of establishing paternity

Ethically and emotionally, it benefits a child to know who his or her biological parents are. In addition to giving the child a better idea of his or her medical background and history, establishing paternity will help a child collect life insurance, medical benefits, military allowances and so on, depending on the specific situation. In addition to benefitting the child, establishing paternity offers a number of benefits for the father. It gives him the right to have a say and offer input with regard to the child and his or her life and health, and it also gives a father the right to petition for custody or visitation with the child, should he want it and not already have it. Establishing paternity is also important for matters relating to child support, and any father looking to collect child support must first establish legal paternity prior to doing so.

In short, establishing paternity in a legal sense is necessary for any father who wants to have a legal say in the life of his child, or for any father who wants to see that his benefits are passed on to a child in the event of his passing. If you are an unmarried father and are hoping to establish legal paternity of a child, you may want to consider getting in touch with an attorney.

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Johnson & Montas P.A.
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Rockledge, FL 32955

Phone: 321-307-2048
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