Establishing paternity if you are not on your child’s birth certificate offers you a lot of protection that you would not have otherwise. One thing is for certain, if you are not 100% sure that a child is yours then you should never sign a birth certificate. If you voluntarily acknowledge that you are the father, you are going to be held legally responsible for the child. In some cases you might even be held financially responsible even if the child is proven to be someone else’s. This is because if you are acknowledging the child to be yours, then you are acknowledging your intent to take care of that child.
There are many reasons that you might have even considered that it is really important to establish paternity and file for joint or physical custody. Even if you plan on raising and caring for the child if it is not yours, you will still want to know who the child’s biological father is.
Benefits of Fatherhood
There are so many benefits to being a father. You get to help raise the person that you helped to create. You can help them to grow into an adult who has a certain type of character and has a certain type of drive. This also means that you get to help raise the child and spend time with them.
Another reason that you should establish paternity is to see if you should be held financially responsible for the child. If you sign your name to the birth certificate, regardless of if you are really the child’s father, there is a chance that you will be financially responsible for this child. This could mean a lot more than just child support which you might be okay with. If there is a medical emergency or a condition, you’d be held responsible for the hospital bills as well.
If you stand to receive an inheritance it is essential that you establish paternity. The main reason for this is that even if this is the first child in your life, if you have children later with someone else, it is unlikely that you are going to want for your children to do without because someone wasn’t honest with you. There are many other issues and factors that play into inheritances too. In some states you might even have to give up some of an inheritance to the mother of the child as a part of your child support.
Many people do not realize how important it is as a father to have a clear medical history for your child. You want to know what types of diseases and problems run in the family so that you can have early detection rather than not knowing if something is wrong with the child. By establishing paternity, you are going to have all of the important medical information that you need for the child.
There are also legal benefits in determining paternity. If you end up separating from the mom of the child, you are going to be able to get visitation rights. You could also potentially have custodial rights. This is all something that you would not have if you have not established paternity and the mother suddenly changed her mind and said that you were really not the father. So you are protecting yourself in all situations by establishing paternity.
Finally, you are going to have a peace of mind when it comes to your child. You will never have to worry that the child might not really be yours or if it could have been an attempt by the mother to make a failing relationship work. You are going to be able to have the emotional freedom to really love the child as well. This is something that you might not be able to do if you end up wondering if the child is really yours.
Knowing your rights and establishing paternity is important for any father. If you find yourself in this situation and are unsure of how to proceed, you can talk to a lawyer. Most lawyers offer you a free consultation where they can advise you of your rights and what services they could