Unmarried Fathers Don’t Necessarily Have Rights to Their Child

April 14th, 2017

Ronald Johnston is a capable divorce attorney practicing in Hillsboro Oregon. He has a lot of experience helping men and women in contested and uncontested paternity cases.

FATHER AND SON TALKING“Why do I need to establish paternity? I have a great relationship with the mother of my child.”

That might be the case, but without established paternity you don’t have any inherent legal rights to your child.

Establishing paternity allows both parents to:

  • Receive child custody
  • Obtain parenting time
  • Collect child support

How does one establish paternity? Ronald Johnston can help in this matter. He can also counsel parents on whether to sign a Volunteer Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP).

Usually, a VAP is signed by the child’s mother and father shortly after birth. It must also be filed in court.

Without a VAP, the unmarried father has no rights to parenting time and the unmarried mother can move out of town (or even the country) with the child.

If the couple is married, the husband is the presumed father and a VAP is not needed.

If you need help navigating paternity law, contact Ronald Johnston today. He’s a venerated divorce attorney in Hillsboro Oregon and has more than four decades of experience practicing family law.



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