Fathers’ rights are a tenuous issue in Louisiana, and many fathers feel that they are fighting an uphill battle when seeking fair visitation time or a strong relationship with their children. For some fathers, this process can be even more complicated when they had never married the mother of their children.
For individuals in this situation, it could be necessary to establish paternity. This step could be the foundation of establishing your rights as a father and securing the appropriate amount of time you need with your child. These are complex family law concerns, and you would be wise not to navigate these issues by yourself.
You know you are the biological father of the child, and the other parent may know it as well, but legally establishing paternity still matters. Clearly identifying yourself as the child’s father means that you now have a clear right to visitation, custody and other benefits, such as the right to make decisions for your child. You may not need to worry about establishing paternity if the following apply to your situation:
- Your child was born during the marriage of you and his or her mother.
- There had been no marriage between you and the mother of your child at the time, so you signed appropriate forms after the birth, voluntarily establishing paternity.
- You and the mother of your child married at least for a period of time after the child was born, and you took on the role of the biological parent.
If none of these apply to your situation or there are new complications regarding your ability to have regular access to your child, you may find it necessary to establish paternity.
What this means for you
It may not seem like a big deal, especially when there is a workable verbal agreement in place between you and the mother of your child, but paternity offers you many benefits. You will then have the right to demand visitation and potentially pursue custody in the future. This also offers many financial benefits and security for your child, as well as a guarantee that he or she will have a regular relationship with you.
Fighting for the best possible outcome
Paternity is a complex issue, and no two cases are the same. If you believe that you may need to establish paternity or you are unsure of how to protect your rights as a father, you do not have to face it on your own.
It is prudent to first seek a full understanding of your rights and the options available to you by which you can pursue the best outcome to your current situation.