In Michigan, married fathers have certain rights through the marriage. For example, the state says a married man is the father of their wife’s child. They only need to sign a birth certificate to make it official.
Unmarried fathers have a few extra hurdles to jump. They must go out of their way to establish paternity. Some shy away from this as well for financial reasons. Today we will discuss possible reasons why yo should not shy away.
Reasons to establish paternity
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse discusses establishing paternity as an unmarried father. All reasons connect to one primary reason: involvement in your child’s life. Having legal security is important to all parents. Without it, a tumultuous relationship is all it takes to interrupt your ability to parent.
For example, let us say you did not establish paternity. The mother of your child is not under legal obligation to tell you anything. This means if they decide to move elsewhere, they do not need to notify you. They do not need to tell you where they are going. One day, they may just take the child and leave. There is nothing you can do to stop them in legal terms.
Important life matters of your child
Also, only the legal parents of a child have a say in their important life matters. This includes the religion you raise them with and the schools you allow them to attend. It even includes crucial matters like medical attention or decisions. For example, you may support vaccinations and want your child vaccinated. If you are not the legal father, you do not have an actual say over whether they get a vaccine or not.
For these reasons, experts suggest establishing paternity. If you have any interest in parenting at all, this is crucial.