Raising a child is a beautiful thing, but also a great responsibility. In addition to teaching your child right from wrong and making sure they are a model human being, you are solely responsible for their wellbeing. This includes medical bills, food, shelter, insurance, and on and on.
Unfortunately, there are situations where parents are unsure of the legitimacy of their child. If by chance you are unsure if the child is biologically yours, signing the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or Birth Certificate could have consequences.
The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity is one of the fastest ways to establish paternity for a child. This document details the rights and responsibilities of the father. This form is completed when the parents of a child are not married or one is out of the picture. Couples sign this form to establish paternity for one or more of the following reasons:
• To protect the rights of each parent – To protect mother and/or father’s rights in TN
• To add the father’s name to the birth certificate
• To ensure the child’s benefits, including medical support, financial support, Social Security, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits
• And more
If you are an unmarried father or mother, the hospital staff will provide you a VAP form to complete. If you are 100% sure that you are the biological father of a child or are ready to fully commit to the child, make sure to completely fill out the form — front and back.
If you are unsure of the true father or do not believe that the child is yours, signing on the dotted line means that you are in charge of child support, payments to the mother, and other duties.
When you are either confident or believe you are not the father, do not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Instead, contact the family law attorneys at Hagar and Phillips. Protect your rights as a father.
A paternity test could be involved, and if so, you want the best legal representation possible. Even if you sign the VAP and change your mind within 60 days of signing, you should still have an attorney understand your case and be ready to defend your rights.