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Establishing Paternity After Rehab for Unmarried Dads

Based on my experience, I would like to suggest if you’re a father who is unmarried and wants to have a say in your child’s life, you must prove that you are a legal father. 

That gives you the right to ask for custody, access, child support, and the responsibility to care for your child’s needs. Rehab Affects Child Custody also.

Navigating the intricacies of my field, I can say custody and alcoholism can’t survive together. Know the ins and outs here on how you can get the right legally.

Establishing Paternity After Rehab for Unmarried Dads

Why is Legal Paternity Important for Unmarried Dads?

In my practice, I’ve observed unmarried dads need legal paternity because it protects their bond with their child and their rights as a parent. 

Without legal paternity, you don’t have the right to make choices for your child or see their medical, school, or other records. 

You also don’t know if you’ll be able to see your child or if your child will get anything from you. Legal paternity also helps your child feel like they belong, are safe, and have a link to their father. Divorce due to alcoholism is usual. So, the legal rules may apply to those dads, too.

How can Unmarried Fathers Establish Paternity?

Several celeb fathers lost their child custody because of substance abuse and anger issues such as, Aaron Carter, Charlie Sheen, John Heard, and many more. Your fame doesn’t play any role here but the laws. 

When I searched for this in-depth, I found many news channels, including New York Magazine and E! News, covering the news about John Heard. 

He lost his son’s custody because of physical violence toward his wife and other reasons. Even he can meet with his son for a certain time with restrictions that were ordered by the court.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

alcoholic parent lost custody

So, getting custody, you must follow the rules. Unmarried fathers can establish paternity in different states and situations. Some of the common ways are:

Signing VAP

Signing a hospital or vital records office voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP) form. That is a fast technique to prove paternity, but both parents must consent, and it can be challenged in court.

Source : VAP Form

VAP form

DNA Test

DNA testing to verify biological fatherhood. A court or private agency can do this. A DNA test is more accurate and conclusive than a VAP but more expensive and time-consuming.

Paternity Case

File a paternity case to have a judge pronounce you the father. That is frequently done, when paternity is disputed. A judge may require a DNA test or other paternity evidence.

However, some states may not immediately establish paternity. You may require more steps to prove paternity. Child custody cases might take up to 18 months.

Tony McKenzie

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