When you’re not married to the mother of your children, you will notice that there is an automatic assumption that she will be the primary parent. As a father, you need to assume that role and sign your children’s birth certificates to set up that biological, and legal, connection with one another.
It is essential that you establish parentage as the father of your children if you want to have visitation or custody rights. You can do this in a couple ways, such as by:
- Signing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity
- Taking a DNA test to show you’re the father
Proving that you are the biological parent of your children is just the first step, though. Next, you’ll need to negotiate for parenting time and decision-making rights.
You can secure your parental rights
The good news is that you can secure your parental rights. Getting a DNA test is a good choice, so that you can be 100% certain that you’re the father of the children. Then, you may want to talk to your ex-partner, or partner if you’re together, about setting up a custody schedule. Depending on the situation, you may find that it’s difficult to get the other parent to set up time for you to see your children, but you still have the right to seek time with them.
Regardless of the situation you’re in, it’s valuable to talk to your attorney about having a legally binding custody schedule and parenting plan established. If the other parent doesn’t want to give you time with your kids, you will need to petition the court for the time you’re seeking.