Just because your name is on the birth certificate doesn’t mean you automatically have rights as a father. A dad needs to have a “declaration of paternity” to have his legal rights insured. With a declaration of paternity filed with the Clerk or signed by a judge, a father will have input into decisions on the child’s education, religion and medical procedures. The parent will also have the responsibility to financially and emotionally support the child. An order from a Court will also set out the custody and visitation rights the father will have with his child.
A mother will also want a determination of parentage to insure she receives financial support for the child. A set schedule for visitation and time sharing will also be entered, which provides stability and structure for the family.
The child will receive benefits from a determination of parentage that most people don’t realize. The child receives the right to inherit from their father and mother. The child also may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation or social security benefits resulting from the father’s death.