California residents may be interested to learn that 40 percent of all children born in the United States are born to unmarried parents. While there are many unmarried fathers who do whatever they can to remain in their child’s life, there are a number of children who will grow up without the influence from their fathers. In some cases, this can be due to the fact that many unmarried fathers remain unaware of their rights.
When a child is born to a married couple, it is presumed that the husband is the child’s father. If the parents are unmarried, there is no presumption that a particular person is the child’s father. As such, this means that the person does not have a right to visitation or custody. The person also does not have the ability to make any decisions when it comes to the child. In order to have legal rights to the child, the person will need to establish paternity.
The easiest way to establish paternity is to ensure that the father’s name is put on the birth certificate when the child is born. This can be done if the father is with the mother at the hospital or, if the father cannot be there for the birth of the child, a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity can be signed.
In some cases, going through the process of establishing paternity can be difficult, especially if the child’s mother is not willing to work with the alleged father to establish paternity. If a person believes that he is the father of a child, a family law attorney may assist with obtaining a paternity order with the court during the child custody dispute. If it is found that the person is the father of the child, the attorney may assist with establishing visitation rights.