Fathers are important role models in their children’s lives. Just like mothers, they are pillars in the development of their children’s emotional well-being. Fathers are generally looked to as authoritarians who set rules and enforce them. They’re also there for security.
Studies have shown that fathers who are supportive and affectionate have a positive impact on their children’s social and cognitive development. Fathers may also set a level of expectation for other relationships, particularly among children looking for male partners in the future.
If you were not married when your children were born, you need to establish paternity
Forming bonds with your children is important. If you weren’t married to the mother of your children when they were born, establishing paternity is going to be essential to protecting your right to do so.
With your paternity established, you’ll obtain the right to seek visitation and custody. You will be able to seek fair parenting arrangements and see your children.
How do you establish paternity?
There are a few ways to establish paternity. To start with, you could establish paternity after your child’s birth. You and your child’s mother can sign a legitimation form, which will grant you the same parental rights as if you’d been married when your child was born.
Signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or similar document is another way to agree that you are the father of the child and will take on the responsibilities that come with paternity.
If you cannot get a voluntary agreement in place, then you or a mother may file a paternity lawsuit. You can seek a DNA test and find out if you are or are not the father of the child in question.
Genetic blood tests are generally available quickly, taking less than a few weeks. In the majority of cases, they’re accurate. Accuracy rates remain at around 99%.
If you establish paternity and are not married, remember that you will likely have to start paying child support. The court will determine how much you need to pay according to the state’s guidelines. Usually, this payment will be based on your own income and the needs of your child or children.
Your attorney can talk to you more about establishing paternity if you believe that you are the father of a child. With support, you’re able to find out if you are the father and work to develop a relationship with your child.