When a child is born in Minnesota, the mother will automatically start with sole physical and legal custody of the child. This is because there is no question about who the mother is since she gave birth to the child. However, when providing the father with legal rights regarding the child, the situation is not as straightforward. In truth, when it comes to the father’s rights and responsibilities related to the child, there are often numerous requirements that need to be met, especially when the child’s parents are not married.
Due to these complexities, we have prepared the following post. In it, we will provide information regarding not only what paternity actually means in Minnesota, but we will also go over what you need to do to establish paternity and how an experienced Minnesota paternity attorney can provide you the legal help you need to get through this challenging legal ordeal.
What Does Paternity Mean in Minnesota?
Paternity is a term used to refer to the legal father of a child under the laws of the state. Once a man is established as the legal father, he will have an obligation to financially support the child and may ask the court for an order regarding custody and parenting time.
Although every child has a biological father, it does not automatically establish they are the legal father. For example, under Minnesota laws, if the parents of a child are not married to each other when the child is born, the biological father will not be recognized as the legal father until certain legal steps are taken to establish paternity. In fact, the biological father has no legal rights, even if their name is indicated on the birth certificate. This is because the birth certificate does not establish that the individual is the legal father.
How Can You Establish Paternity in Minnesota
When you establish paternity, it means you create a legal relationship between the child and the child’s parent when no previous legal relationship existed. In Minnesota, there are a few ways to establish paternity.
Parents Are Married
If a child is born to a mother who is married, the mother’s spouse will often be presumed to be the legal parent of the child and will be named on the birth certificate. However, if the mother’s spouse is not the child’s biological father and does not want to be named as the legal parent, they, along with the mother and the biological father, can prepare and sign a Recognition of Parentage and a Spouse’s Non-Parentage Statement. These documents will name the biological father as the child’s legal father.
Parents Are Not Married
If a child is born to parents that are not married, and both parents agree that the man is the biological father and want him to be the child’s legal father, they can sign a Recognition of Parentage form and file it with the Minnesota Department of Health. In addition, it is also important to note that either or both parents can ask the court to issue an order naming the man as the legal father.
If the mother and father of the child do not voluntarily complete a Recognition of Parentage form, then the biological father will not be recognized as the legal father, and legal action will need to be taken to establish paternity.
Reasons to Establish Paternity in Minnesota
There are numerous reasons why parents need to establish paternity as soon as a child is born. For instance, consider the following benefits:
Benefits to the Father
A father will want to establish paternity as soon as they can so that they can be recognized as the child’s legal father, which can help them:
- Seek custody of the child
- Obtain an order regarding custody and parenting time
- Add the child to their medical insurance and vision insurance
Benefits to the Mother
On the other hand, a mother will want to establish paternity so that she can:
- Receive benefits for the child on behalf of the father, such as insurance benefits, inheritance benefits, and life insurance benefits
- Request child support from the child’s father
Benefits to the Child
In addition, from a child’s standpoint, there are numerous benefits of establishing paternity, including:
- Allowing the child to have access to family medical history
- Having support from both parents
- Obtaining health insurance coverage
- The knowledge that they know who their parents are
How Can an Experienced Minnesota Paternity Attorney Help You?
Unfortunately, if you are unwed in Minnesota and have a child or are about to have a child, providing them with the care they need may not be as easy as you would hope it to be. Depending on the relationship with the other child’s parent, there may be numerous obstacles you have to overcome to ensure your child is provided for and receives the care and support that they deserve.
Thankfully, with an experienced Minnesota paternity attorney fighting on your side, you will not have to deal with these laws and legal issues on your own. Instead, you can leave this legal battle to your lawyer and have them fight for your and your child’s rights.
In fact, once you retain a skilled attorneyto assist with your case, they can:
- Go over your situation in detail, explain the rights you have, and help you determine your legal options
- Ensure your paperwork regarding paternity is filed correctly
- Assist you in obtaining genetic testing
- Help you with obtaining an order regarding custody and parenting time and dealing with other custody issues such as child support
- Present evidence to the court to help you establish or challenge paternity
Having an Issue with Paternity? Get the Legal Assistance You Need Today
Paternity issues are not only complicated but often emotionally overwhelming for everyone involved, especially when genetic testing and child support become top issues. To ensure that you get the legal help you need during this stressful ordeal, make sure you contactan experienced Minnesota paternity lawyer today to find out how we can help you and your family.