The Importance of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

November 25th, 2016

If you’re an unmarried father, then you’ve probably heard about a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, or VAP, from one of Hillsboro OR’s many family law attorneys.

father and daughter and computerIn fact, it was mentioned in our last entry, Advocating for Fathers’ Rights – Part 2.

When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is the presumed father. When a child is born to an unmarried couple, there’s no presumption as to the identity of the father.

To establish paternity, the unmarried father signs a VAP, usually at the hospital right after the birth of their child. If a VAP is not signed immediately after birth, it can be signed later.

Without a signed VAP, the unmarried mother retains many legal rights to custody and parenting time of their child. In this situation, the unmarried father has little to no recourse.

Without a VAP, the unmarried mother may be able to legally take their child out of the state or even out of the country. With a VAP, the unmarried father might be able to stop the mother from leaving the state, or at the very least, be considered for parenting time.

VAPs aren’t just for fathers. Unmarried mothers will need a VAP to receive child support.

If you’re an unmarried father who needs to establish paternity, contact Ronald Johnston, a Hillsboro OR family law attorney.

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