Today, the word “parent” does not have the definition it once did. Kids do not have the nuclear family portrayed in old black and white TV shows. Many children are raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, or single parents. Sometimes single moms raise their children with men who are not the children’s biological fathers.
Many people do not realize the rights men have in relation to the children they help raise. In Minnesota, some men may be eligible to obtain a Voluntary Recognition of Parentage. That could quickly and easily help them take a step toward being recognized as the legal father and keep parenting time rights in case the relationship ends.
What Is a Recognition of Parentage?
Many men raise children from babies to adulthood without having legal custody. If they meet a woman who is a single mother, forming a bond with her children is a necessary part of the relationship. But if the couple is unmarried, many states make it difficult for him to become the legal father.
Minnesota’s Voluntary Recognition of Parentage is an effort to make it easier to give children a stable family without creating unnecessary problems involving private relationships. There are some qualifications, but they are very inclusive:
- If the mother is married when the child is born, the man she is married to is automatically recorded as the father. If he is not the biological father, he can relinquish his rights, allowing the father to file a Recognition of Parentage.
- If the parents are not married, the mother will be recorded as the sole parent. But it’s possible for the couple to sign a Recognition of Parentage, as long as both agree that the man is the biological father.
- If a man the mother is not married to wants to become the legal parent, they can both sign a Recognition of Parentage.
Many men are satisfied with their relationships the way they are. But there are several advantages to filing a Recognition of Parentage in Minnesota. There are good things for the mother that can come from this arrangement as well.
One thing that no one wants to think about, but has to be considered, is what happens if the relationship with your partner dissolves. If you have signed a Recognition of Parentage, you can request parenting time from the court and for your custody rights to be put in place.
Most states do not allow children you do not have custody of to be placed on your medical or dental insurance. If the state of Minnesota recognizes you as the legal parent, they can then be covered by your policy, and you won’t have to worry about the child’s health care.
A Recognition of Parentage in Minnesota makes you the legal father. You can name them in your will and leave property to them when you die. Your name will be included in their birth records.
Advantages for the Mother
The mother is also able to benefit from a Recognition of Parentage:
- It gives her child a legally recognized father. Even if they have a strong bond with her partner, being able to make it legal is satisfying.
- She can have access to medical information about the legal father. That is something that unmarried couples cannot usually do, but because she is the mother of his child, she has that right.
- If the relationship dissolves, she can request financial assistance for her child. That means meeting their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing. And the legal father may also be required to cover their medical and dental needs.
The Recognition of Parentage gives a man a legal relationship with a child even if they’re unmarried. However, it does not automatically entitle him to parenting time or visitation. That will have to be petitioned to the court separately if needed.
Also, if there is a question as to whether or not the man is the biological father, the Recognition of Parentage bypasses it. It establishes that both parties agree that he will be the legal father, not that he is the biological one.
Revocation of the Recognition of Parentage
The parents can change their minds and have a Recognition of Parentage undone within 60 days. They will either have to fill out a revocation form or write their request on paper. The name of the child, date of birth, and both parents’ names must be included. It has to be signed in front of a notary public.
If the 60-day window has passed, legal action has to be filed with the court to undo the Recognition of Parentage. That has to be done within one year.
Start Your Legal Journey Today
Many men have taken on the responsibility of raising children that are not theirs. Their dedication to bonding with the children is commendable. But many want to go the extra step and become the legal father. That way, they can protect them with medical coverage, have legal rights to fall back on if the relationship ends (like those related to parenting time), and take pride in calling themselves the child’s father. Filing a Minnesota Voluntary Recognition of Parentage is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that.
The legal team at CJB Law is extremely knowledgeable about all of the pros and cons of a Recognition of Parentage. We would be happy to discuss your options with you. Contact CJB Law today to schedule a consultation.