Many children are born to unmarried parents. While a mother is automatically considered the parent of her child through giving birth, Nebraska laws make it harder for unmarried fathers to assert their rights. Although it doesn’t take much more than a DNA test to prove that you are the biological father, your unmarried status will still prevent you from participating in many aspects of your child’s life.
No matter how strong of a relationship you have with your child and the birth mother, it is still important to legally establish your paternity in court. Even if your relationship with the birth mother is strong, circumstances may change down the road, and you could lose access to your child. Here are a few ways your child may benefit from your legal status:
1. You can have a say in your child’s education
When you have legal parenting rights, you can ensure that your child’s educational opportunities are well supported. This means you can help choose the school he or she goes to, as well as fund the experience. If your child decides to apply to college down the road, he or she will also be able to list you as a parent. This will allow colleges to consider your income and credentials when making decisions about admissions and financial aid.
2. Give your child access to your medical history
When you establish paternity, your child will have access to your medical history, and can be informed on what illnesses he or she could genetically inherit.
3. Being your healthcare dependent
In addition to knowing your medical history, you can also ensure that your child has access to healthcare by listing him or her as a legal dependent on your health insurance plan.
4. Inheriting your assets
Establishing paternity also means your child will be able to legally inherit any assets you leave behind when you pass away. This may be particularly beneficial if you do not leave a will or trust behind.
Every child deserves to be taken care of by their father. While building a relationship with your child is certainly important, establishing your paternity in court will allow you to care and provide for them in the best way possible.