An Important Child Custody Matter
Establishing paternity is critical in child custody, especially in Rhode Island. Unmarried parents must take steps to protect their child's legal rights.
This blog will provide an overview of how paternity is established under Rhode Island law and what unmarried parents can do to ensure that their children have access to all legal benefits associated with being recognized as a parent.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity is essential for many reasons, including the ability to receive child support from the other parent and ensuring that both parents are legally responsible for their child's upbringing. It also grants children health insurance, Social Security benefits, and other government services.
Ways to Establish Paternity
In Rhode Island, there are several ways for unmarried parents to legally establish paternity, including:
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP)
This is a form that both unmarried parents must sign for the father's name to be included on the child's birth certificate.
If parents are unable or unwilling to execute a VAP, they may pursue DNA testing to establish paternity. The father can be added to the birth certificate upon a successful result.
If all other methods fail, paternity may be established through court proceedings. Parents must work with an attorney to proceed with this option.
Unmarried parents must understand their rights and responsibilities when establishing paternity in Rhode Island. Although the process may seem daunting, following the steps above can ensure your child has access to all the legal benefits they deserve. If you have further questions or need assistance navigating the process, contact an experienced family law attorney for guidance.
Work With a Rhode Island Family Law Attorney
By understanding and utilizing these tools, unmarried parents in Rhode Island can protect their children and ensure they have access to the same benefits as children of married parents. An experienced family law attorney can guide on establishing paternity and other important aspects of child custody matters.