As a father, you want to do everything you can to protect your parental rights and shield your relationship with your children. Sometimes, however, a dispute with the mother of your child, a divorce or other complication could threaten your rights. Depending on the nature of your individual situation, it may be necessary to establish paternity.
Paternity, fathers’ rights and your parental role in the life of your child are complex legal matters. It may seem overwhelming, but you can take steps to establish and secure your rights as a South Carolina parent. You do not have to navigate these sensitive and complicated matters on your own.
When do you need to establish paternity?
In many cases, there is a presumption of paternity. For example, if the parents are married when the child is born or the parents sign voluntary paternity forms, there is an assumption of who the father is. DNA testing is not necessary. However, in cases in which the parents are not married and the mother is denying custody or the father does not currently have visitation rights, it may be necessary to take the legal steps to establish paternity.
If there is a question about paternity, there are certain benefits for both you and your child if you go through the process of establishing legal paternity. Some of these benefits include:
- Give you valid grounds to pursue custody
- Allow you to seek visitation
- Provide financial security for your child through child support
- Allow you to have an active and positive role in the life of the child
Addressing issues related to paternity is not easy. You may be unsure of what to do or how to protect yourself, but you may find it beneficial to start with a complete evaluation of your case.
Fighting for your role as a parent
Children benefit when allowed to have a close relationship with both parents. If you are experiencing exclusion from your child’s life or you want to clarify your rights, it may be beneficial to establish paternity. This is an important and legally significant step, but you do not have to walk through it alone.
As a father, you have the right to make sure you have a strong presence in the life of your child. This important role is worth fighting for, and establishing paternity may be the first step in this process.