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What rights come with establishing paternity?

Children benefit greatly from having a strong relationship with both their mother and their father. Unfortunately, father and child relationships can be more difficult to establish at times, and this is often because paternity is not established until the child is older.

If you are seeking to gain paternity of your child, or you have recently gained paternity, it is important that you understand the rights this gives you. It can often be difficult and frustrating as a father to fight for custody of your child. But the law is in place to ensure the child can have a relationship with both parents if it is within their best interests.

The legal implications of paternity for the father

As the legal father of the child, you have the responsibility to pay for child support at the primary custodian's request. In addition to this responsibility, the father also has certain rights. A father with paternity will gain custody and visitation rights. They additionally have the right to prevent the mother from giving up the child for adoption, for example.

What does custody mean as a father?

Custody comes in several forms. Physical custody relates to who the child will be in the care of. Legal custody, however, relates to the authority to make decisions regarding the child's health care, religion and schooling, among other things. It will be possible for a father who has established paternity to have both physical and legal custody in most circumstances.

If you want to assert your rights as a father, it is important that you understand how the law applies to you so you can act accordingly.

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