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Child custody: What’s the big deal about establishing paternity?

In the modern world, many children are born out of wedlock and go on to have wonderful lives with love and support from both parents. However, there are many other situations in which the child and the father suffer from an inability to form a close relationship. Sometimes, the mother blocks any attempts by the father to cultivate a relationship. Other times, the father may simply be unaware of his rights.

More than ever dads, unmarried or not, want to experience all the joy that comes with parenthood. These fathers typically take a much more active role in raising their kids than dads did in previous eras. Such involvement with children is a great thing for fathers and children alike, but unmarried dads can risk losing their rights if they fail to protect themselves.

This is why establishing your paternity if you are not married to the child’s mom is so important. Without establishing paternity, you can lose your child custody and visitation rights. Fortunately, there are several ways unmarried fathers in Cranberry Township, PA, can legalize paternity.

  • You and the mother can marry after the child is born and sign a form
  • You claim the child as your own and offer love and support to the child
  • When there is sufficient evidence (e.g. a genetic test) that the child is yours
  • Filing an acknowledgment of paternity with the mother’s consent

Protecting your rights to child custody and visitation is not something to take lightly. In most unmarried situations, a family law attorney can help if you are afraid of losing contact with your child. By taking the right legal steps, you and your children can continue cultivating the bond you share for the rest of your lives.