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What are the pros and cons to establishing paternity?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Family Law |

Unwed fathers in Connecticut have a big choice ahead. Should you establish paternity and make it official on a legal level? Fathers have different reasons for the choices they make.

Today we will look at some of the pros and cons to legally establishing paternity. These benefits and downsides impact everyone in a different way. Being aware of them at all is important to your ability to decide what is best for you.

The potential drawback of establishing paternity

First, there are the potential drawbacks. The biggest drawback of legal paternity is the responsibility to provide financial support. For many fathers, this is not a problem. After all, it only applies if you and your co-parent split up and there is a child support agreement in place. For some fathers, finances may be a big issue. They might barely have the means to support themselves, let alone a family.

The primary benefit of paternity

There are many benefits to establishing paternity as well. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse discusses the importance of establishing paternity. This relates to the biggest benefit: having a legal say in what happens to your child. Without establishing paternity, the law does not view you as the legal father. Even if you are the father, even if you raise the child, you must establish paternity for legal matters. What if a co-parent decides to cut you out of the child’s life and you do not have legal paternity? There is very little you can do to stop them without establishing paternity first.

For many fathers, the ability to stay in a child’s life is worth any potential cost. It is important for every father to examine his personal situation and decide if there is a need or desire to legally establish paternity of a child.