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What parental rights do unmarried fathers have?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2021 | Father's Rights |

It’s rare for a marriage to stand the test of time. With that in mind, you could find yourself as an unwed parent in Tennessee who ever tied the knot with the child’s birth mother. If this is the case, it’s important to learn the rights of an unwed father.

Paternity matters

When a married couple has a baby together, the legal presumption is that the husband is the father of this child. Unfortunately, this presumption doesn’t apply when a child is born out of wedlock. However, the father of a child born outside of wedlock can establish paternity.

The most straightforward way to establish paternal rights is by having the father’s name on their child’s birth certificate. To make sure this happens, it’s a good idea to be at the hospital while the child is being born. If you’re not at the hospital and want paternal rights, you can choose to fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form.

Gaining custody of your child

Another important concern for many unwed fathers is establishing child custody. This legal route gives unwed men the same rights as married fathers.

If you’re living with your child’s mother, you don’t need to take any steps to establish custody. However, this situation will change if you and your partner don’t plan on raising a child in the same home. If this is the case, you’ll need to petition the court to gain custody rights.

In conclusion, an unwed father can be a part of his child’s life. With that said, accomplishing this goal can sometimes require paternity tests and petitioning a court.