Socially, when a child is born, the mother is the mother and the biological father is the father. It is really easy. Legally, it gets complicated. When a child is born the mother gets all the rights to the child if she is unwed. If she is unwed then the biological father does not get any rights to the child. If the mother is wed, even if the husband is not the biological father then the husband takes on rights to the child as well. If the biological father is unwed and wants rights to his child then he must fight to establish paternity. In legal terms, this means that he must fight to have rights to his child by asserting that he is the biological father to this child.
How Does an Unwed Father Establish Paternity?
First, DNA testing may be needed to ensure that you are the birth father. These tests can be purchased outside of court, but there is a free service provided by the court to test to see if the baby is really yours. There are also three different ways to establish paternity:
- Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP)
- Administrative Paternity Order
- Judicial Paternity Order
The first, Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, is a document that can be completed in the hospital at the birth of the baby. This is the easiest and most consenting way of establishing paternity. You and the birth mother will sign the document stating that you two are legally bound to the child. That means that you will be held accountable for child support, able to create child visitation rights, and other legal issues relating to the child. The father’s name will be added to the birth certificate and there is wiggle room to change the child’s name before its fifth birthday.
If for some reason this option is not open to you then there are two other options. For the next two options, it is important to have Emy A Cordano a Visitation Attorney in Salt Lake City by your side. The reason for having a Visitation Attorney is to not only ensure that all the paperwork is filled correctly and distributed at the right time, but it is to ensure that you are being represented in the courtroom. The second option of the Administrative Paternity Order requires the opening of a case where you will need to provide genetic testing and other paperwork solidifying that you are the father. If for some reason there is some contest or error then you can for the third option, Judicial Paternity Order. This means you will go before a judge in a court.
Having Emy A. Cordano a Visitation Attorney in Salt Lake City in your corner will ensure that you establish paternity in order to get the visitation rights you deserve and/or the custody that benefits your child. Give us a call at 801-804-5152 or click here to learn more about your rights as the biological father.