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3 facts unmarried new fathers should know

When a relationship ends, many men think that they are completely done with the woman they broke it off with. This isn't the case for a man who finds out that the woman is expecting his baby. Men who aren't married but have a new child with a former girlfriend have specific duties and rights regarding the child. Failing to meet legal obligations could cause problems for you, as well as for the business that you have worked so hard to build.

Paternity matters

One of the first things you will need to do is to establish paternity. This gives you the legal basis for exercising your paternal rights. In some cases, you will need to take a court-ordered DNA test to get this done. However, it is possible to sign an affidavit in some cases to establish paternity. It is imperative that you are completely sure the child is your child before you sign an affidavit to establish paternity because doing so comes with responsibilities.

Rights come with responsibilities

Fathers' rights can give you access to your child, but this comes with responsibilities. The responsibilities you will have to ensure you meet include paying child support. This is very important because failing to meet your child support obligation could have serious implications, including legal troubles. In some cases, back child support can land you in jail. This would mean that your business wouldn't have you at the helm for the length of your sentence.

In addition to child support, you might have to provide health insurance for the child. It is important that you fully understand what your obligations are so that you can ensure you meet them. If something happens and you find that you will be unable to meet your obligations, you can find out if your circumstances qualify for a modification of the court orders.

Agreements and orders are necessary

There are two ways that you can get child custody issues settled. You can either come to an agreement with the child's mother or you can ask the court to determine how to settle the issues. Typically, a settlement is the better option because it allows you and the child's mother to consider the unique circumstances of the case, such as special events that you have for your business. If you and the child's mother opt to work things out through a settlement, you can work with a mediator to get this done. If this isn't possible, heading to court for a trial is likely necessary.

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