Establishing paternity is vital to all parties for many reasons. If you’ve fathered a child in South Carolina, you need to know why it’s so important to prove it’s yours. Take a look at three reasons proof matters.
#1: Legal Rights
In the state of South Carolina, the father of a child born out of wedlock must establish paternity before he has any legal rights concerning the child. These rights include visitation, custody, decision-making, including medical care, education, and religion. It also affects control over the potential adoption of the child. The mother has sole discretion regarding all of these issues, leaving the biological father with no legal recourse. Without proof of paternity, the mother has every right to terminate visitation and remove the child from their father’s life.
#2: Other Rights
In addition to legal rights, establishing paternity has enormous benefits for the child, the father, and the mother. They include:
- Feeling of security for the child
- Shared information on family medical histories
- Access to inheritance, health insurance, and Social Security
- Shared parenting responsibilities
- Shared financial responsibilities
- Legal rights to parent/child visitation and relationships
#3: Paternity in South Carolina
If the parents of a child are legally married, the legal assumption is that the husband is the father at the time of birth. Even if the husband is not the biological father, they automatically have legal paternity rights. If the parents are not married, the biological father has no rights until the establishment of paternity.
Don’t give up your paternal rights. Get the help you need to establish the paternity of your child by contacting the experienced attorneys at McCutchen McLean, LLC.