The Attorneys Of Stewart Sorice Farrell Finoli And Cavanaugh LLC

Why should fathers establish paternity?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2020 | Family Law |

In Pennsylvania, establishing paternity opens up the legal perks of fatherhood. Some people may ask why they should strive to establish paternity. 

Today we will take a look at the answer to that question. We will see what legal paternity offers to fathers everywhere. We will also see why you may regret not doing so when you have the chance. 

The hurdles unmarried fathers may face 

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse tackles this topic head-on. They ask why it is important for fathers to establish paternity. In legal terms, the law does not consider a man the father of his child unless married. Even a married father must sign the birth certificate. Where does this leave unmarried men? They must go through more steps to establish paternity. 

Some fathers may think that this is unnecessary. Some fear establishing legal paternity puts too much financial responsibility on them. Low income fathers hold this concern often. 

The importance of establishing paternity 

But without legal paternity, you cannot be a strong part of your child’s life. You do not have a say in how the mother raises the child. This includes the schools they attend and the medical treatments they receive. You may voice your opinions. But the mother is under no legal obligation to take your word into consideration. 

Also, the mother does not have to notify you if she moves away with the child. You may learn someday that she and your child left the area long ago. If your child is in trouble, child protection services will not contact you, either. Your child risks getting swept into the foster care system. 

Do you have any intention of parenting your child or being in their life? If so, establishing paternity is not only suggested. Many experts consider it crucial.