Georgia fathers like you may wonder about establishing paternity. If married, paternity is often established automatically. But what if you never married? Unmarried fathers often have to go through more complex steps to establish paternity.
Still, some professionals would argue that establishing paternity is worth the extra steps. After all, there are many benefits you can only get after establishing paternity.
Why do some fathers avoid paternity?
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse explains why establishing paternity is important. In the eyes of the law, you are not the legal father of your child unless you establish paternity. Even if you know with certainty that the child is yours, the law needs certain proof.
Some fathers do not want to establish paternity. They are afraid that this may legally bind them into paying for child support if the mother calls for it. Sometimes, this is true. This can act as a huge hurdle for single men with no stable source of income.
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But you lose out on having a say in your child’s life without establishing paternity. You have no say in their medical decisions. Their mother is not obligated to tell you anything about them, either. This means they can move from the state without alerting you. In some cases, fathers lose track of their children and do not see them for years.
If you have any desire to take part in your child’s life, establishing paternity is worth it. You may want to look into Georgia state law and see how to do it. This will give you the legal benefits of fatherhood.