In Tennessee and most other states, unmarried fathers generally have rights to a child after establishing paternity. This is true even in cases involving fathers who have acknowledged paternity without any proof to back up that claim. However, once paternity is confirmed, fathers can typically ask for visitation or custody rights to their sons or daughters. They may also be required to pay child support or otherwise assist in raising a child.
Establishing paternity may occur in a couple of different ways. First, a prospective father could ask for a DNA test to prove that he is biologically related to the child. Alternatively, it could be enough to sign an affidavit acknowledging that he is the father of the child. In such a scenario, the mother would also have to sign the form for it to be recognized. Generally speaking, simply adding a father’s name to a birth certificate is not enough to establish paternity.
When children are born to unwed couples, the law still allows the children to have relationships with their parents. Typically, a father will be allowed to have visitation or custody rights to the child assuming that it is in the child’s best interest to grant them.
Children may benefit in a variety of ways by knowing who both of their parents are. For instance, a child who knows his or her father may have access to relevant medical information. It may also be possible to inherit cash or other assets from that parent. Furthermore, children benefit because they have the emotional guidance and support of both parents while growing up.
Those who wish to have rights to their children may benefit by hiring an attorney. This may help them develop a legal strategy to effectively pursue those rights in court.