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What are your rights as an unmarried father?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Fathers' Rights

Fatherhood is a precious gift that brings immense joy and responsibility, but what happens when you are an unmarried father? Do you have any legal rights? Will you be able to spend time with your child?

Many unmarried fathers are unaware of their legal standing and parental rights, which can lead to heartbreaking custody battles and legal disputes. However, the right understanding can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your rights.

Establishing paternity

When an unmarried couple has a baby in Tennessee, the mother automatically gets parental rights. As the father, you will need to establish paternity to get the same rights. You can do this by having the mother sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity that lists you as the child’s father. If the mother does not agree to sign, you may need to take a DNA test to prove that you are the father.

Securing your rights

Once you have established paternity, you can then take the necessary steps to secure your legal rights as a father. This includes seeking custody and visitation rights, as well as ensuring that you are financially responsible for your child. You can also give your child rights to your inheritance, social security benefits and life insurance benefits.

You can try scheduling visitation with the child’s mother out of court. If this does not work out, you may have to petition the court to issue a custody order. Be ready to show that you are fit to care for your child and that you will look out for your child’s best interests.

You must have the right attitude when seeking parental rights. Put aside any negative feelings towards the child’s mother and work towards a healthy co-parenting relationship.


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