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Why Unwed Parents Must Establish Paternity

Many people only view paternity tests as necessary when seeking to prove that an intimate partner is not your child's biological parent. Paternity testing carries a connotation of infidelity, which is perhaps why many unmarried, cohabitating parents do not feel compelled to legally establish paternity (or bring it up with their partner). However, while neither partner may have doubts as to their child's biological parentage, the law does not provide any assumption of paternity for unwed fathers.

Even if both parents were cohabitating or operating as a married couple during the time of a child's birth and childhood, unwed fathers do not have parental rights in any official capacity unless there is legal proof of paternity or at least consent to paternity at the hospital. This issue can become problematic in a crisis, medical emergencies and, most commonly, in the event that unwed parents split up. A court cannot require unwed fathers to pay child support without official confirmation of paternity, but it also cannot give them any parental rights to custody, visitation, or involvement in important decisions about their child's health, education, etc.

Also remember that paternal family members have no legal rights to remain involved in the life of the child in question if there is no official confirmation of paternity.

If you are an unwed mother seeking child support from your child's father, you may be able to obtain a court order requiring a paternity test and get the ball rolling toward a fair support arrangement. If you are an unwed father seeking to establish paternity in order to remain actively involved in the life of your child, there are a variety of things you can do to make it happen. The first step toward securing parental rights and establishing paternity is to seek the help of a family law lawyer right away.

Make an Appointment With a Family Law Attorney in Manchester Today

Our team at Sekella Law, PLLC is here to help you work toward establishing paternity. We know what it takes to help you get the best possible solution, whatever your family issue. Get in touch with one of our Manchester family law lawyers today.

Call (603) 686-7229 or reach out to us online to schedule your free case evaluation as soon possible.

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SekellaLaw, PLLC
222 River Rd
Manchester, NH 03104-2421

Phone: 603-505-4062
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