In North Carolina, as in most states, an unwed father is not automatically assumed to be his child's parent, like a father who is married to his child's mother would be. In order to have the legal rights of a father, unwed men must take steps to legally establish their paternity of their children. Read on to discover a few of the reasons it is so important to legally establish your paternity.
- Health insurance benefits.
If you have family health insurance through your job or otherwise, you can only share this coverage with your child if you are legally his or her father. This becomes important if your insurance provides better coverage than your child's mother or if she is uninsured. Most fathers want their children to be able to have the best coverage available, whether they are completely healthy or facing medical issues.
- Medical history.
If you legally establish paternity, it gives your child the ability to access familial medical history and be informed about any genetic medical issues or predispositions to certain illnesses they may have inherited.
- Custody and visitation.
You and your child's mother may be happily in love now, but if things ever go sour, she will have the ability to prevent you from seeing your child at all if you have not established paternity. In order to have custody and visitation rights if you and your child's mother are ever no longer living together, you must be legally recognized as the child's father.
You may think it's just a piece of paper, but having your paternity legally recognized can bring you and your child closer. It helps them develop a sense of identity and know that they are truly a part of your family — by blood and by law.
Who can help me legally establish my paternity?
There are several different ways you can go about legally establishing your paternity. An experienced family law attorney can help you decide which path is best for you. If you are the unwed father of a child and you're interested in exercising your parental rights, The Law Offices of Regina M. Taylor team is here to help. Whether it is a simple matter of filing paperwork, or you need to prove your case against a mother who doesn't want you to see your child, we provide the practical and assertive guidance you need to make sure things are handled correctly. Contact us to discuss your options and get started.