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Why unwed fathers may want to establish paternity

Fathers in North Carolina must go through a legal process to gain legal paternity. For married fathers, this process is straightforward and somewhat simple. For unmarried fathers, it has the potential to be a little more complex. 

Today we will look at reasons why fathers should establish paternity. Despite the concerns one may have, the benefits may outweigh them. 

Do you want to be in your child’s life?

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse talks about the importance of establishing paternity. The most important factor is whether you want involvement in your child’s life. For some fathers, they do not want this involvement. If that is the case for you, then you do not need to worry about paternity. 

But most fathers want at least some involvement in their child’s life. Either that, or they are at least on the fence about it, unsure if they want involvement in the future or not. If you fall into either of these categories, it is crucial to establish paternity. 

Paternity and the law 

Without establishing paternity, the law does not consider you to be the child’s parent. This means you do not have any legal, protected rights as a father. In other words, the child’s mother is the one that has all the say. You can give your opinions, but the mother does not have to listen. This includes opinions on important matters like religion, schooling and healthcare. 

Also, mothers do not have to keep you in the loop about decisions regarding the child. They could move without letting you know. They could give the okay for medical treatment. If you want any say in your child’s life, a legal professional can help you establish paternity. 

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