01 December 2023IN: Family Law
In the past, mothers were primarily the ones to take care of their children. They did not usually get a lot of help from the fathers. Nowadays, both parents are involved in their children’s lives. There is a huge push toward fathers’ rights. That’s the way the courts prefer it, anyway, as that is in the best interests of the children.
When a couple is married when a baby is born, paternity is assumed. When a couple is not married, though, paternity is not assumed. The child has no legal father until the presumed father takes action.
The good news is that paternity does not have to be established right away. In Tennessee, you can establish paternity until the child reaches age 21. However, the sooner, the better. Establishing paternity comes with many benefits. Your child has a sense of identity and belonging. They have access to their parents’ medical history, which can help them identify any health issues. In addition, children can receive benefits from their parents, such as Social Security benefits, veterans’ benefits, health insurance, child support, and inheritance rights.
- The parents complete a legal form called the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP).
- Court order.
- DNA testing, to determine biological proof of paternity. Either parent or the local child support office can request a DNA test.
You may think it’s best to acknowledge paternity at the hospital when the child is born, but you should wait and request DNA testing if there is any shred of doubt in your mind as to paternity. The VAP will put the father’s name on the child’s original birth certificate, but it also exposes you to the possibility of a child support obligation before you obtain DNA testing.
Keep in mind that being a father is a huge responsibility. Once you establish paternity, you are required to support your child. This may include paying child support, health insurance, and childcare expenses. Every father needs to accept his share of the financial, legal, and emotional responsibility of raising a child.
Contact a Murfreesboro TN Fathers Rights Lawyer Today
All parents have rights. While it may seem as though mothers are favored in the court system, that’s because there is no arguing with motherhood. Proving paternity, however, can be much more complicated.
A Tennessee parental rights lawyer from The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you establish paternity, so your child has a relationship with their father as well as other benefits. Give your child the life they deserve. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (615) 896-7656.