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Five Reasons for Unwed Fathers to Establish Paternity - Katrina S. Zafiro

Five Reasons for Unwed Fathers to Establish Paternity

When a baby is born and the mother is married, the law automatically assumes that the mother’s husband is the baby’s father. The couple does not have to take extra steps in order for the father’s name to appear on the baby’s birth certificate or for him to have parental rights and obligations. However, if you’re a father and you are not married to your child’s mother, things are a little different. You and the mother will need to sign a form at the hospital acknowledging that you are the baby’s father in order for you to establish paternity. If you do not fill out this form at the time of the child’s birth, you can file it with the court later.

Many unwed fathers mistakenly believe that if they don’t establish legal paternity, they won’t have to pay child support if they ever separate from the mother and child. However, failing to take the step of establishing legal paternity won’t save you any money down the road — it will only cause you and your child to miss out on valuable opportunities. Read on to discover some of the biggest benefits of establishing legal paternity as an unwed father: 

  1. You can share your health insurance with your child.

If you have health insurance through your employer, you will need to have legal paternity in order for your child to be covered by your plan. This is especially important if you have better coverage than your partner or if she does not have insurance at all. If your child experiences an accident or illness, health insurance should keep your medical bills manageable.

  1. Your child can access your genetic information.

Genetic information can help your child’s doctors know if they are predisposed to any conditions. It can also be extremely helpful when your child goes on to have children of his or her own. In order for your child to access genetic information from your side of the family, you need to have legal paternity.

  1. You get to have a say in decisions about your child’s upbringing.

If you don’t have legal paternity, your child’s mother does not have to consider your opinion about educational and medical decisions for your child. Establishing legal paternity allows you to have a part in this decision. It also allows you to do things like signing a permission slip for your child to go on a field trip.

  1. It allows your child to inherit your property when you pass away.

When you’re gone, you probably imagine that your assets will be passed on to your children. However, this will not happen unless you have legal paternity or they are named in your will. Legal paternity makes it easier for your child to receive inheritance and to benefit from any life insurance policies you may have in place.

  1. It gives your child a stronger connection to you and a sense of identity.

Establishing your paternity has many mental and emotional benefits for your child. It shows them that you love them and are proud of them. It makes them feel like a closer part of your family and can give them confidence in their identity. Believe it or not, this plays a huge role in your child’s overall happiness.

If you are ready to establish your legal paternity or if you have questions about how it works, the Zafiro Law team is here to help. Contact us today!

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Zafiro Law

As an attorney, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve peace of mind in navigating the complex areas of family law and immigration law. Your case will get my full and dedicated attention—whether you are seeking to navigate the complexities of your family law matter or overcome the challenges of your immigration law case.

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