Did You Know? When unmarried parents have a child, the fathers have no rights.
Contrary to what some people think, fathers have no parental rights to children who are born out of wedlock. Whether the dad’s name is on the birth certificate is inconsequential. Starting out, the birth mother for children born out of wedlock is the full custodial parent. She can decide whether to give the dad visitation, or whether to block him completely. The police will not get involved.
The father must sue to get his rights. He must first establish paternity and establish he is the biological father of the child. If he is on the birth certificate this is usually not a big deal. If he is not on the certificate, there must be a DNA test that is acceptable within the rules of evidence. This is expensive, and it also may take months to complete.
Once paternity is established, the father can ask for one of three things: (1) standard visitation; (3) joint (split) custody; or (3) full custody. Standard visitation is the easiest to get—the father will get the child every other weekend, every other holiday, and six weeks in the summer. He will also pay child support. Many fathers get this starting out.
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