Are you an unwed father seeking visitation or custody of your child in South Carolina? First, congratulations on taking the initial step in establishing a loving, lasting relationship with your child.
If you have never been married to the child’s mother, and you would like to establish custody of your child or visitation, you must first prove paternity (fatherhood) of the child.
How To Establish Paternity In South Carolina
Establishing paternity is the legal process of determining the biological father of the child. You may know you are the biological father; however, you are not the child’s legal father unless you either:
- Acknowledged paternity at the hospital
- Acknowledged paternity through Vital Records after leaving the hospital, or
- Submit to a DNA test
If the DNA test establishes you are the biological father, you are also the legal father. As an unwed father, you must establish paternity before seeking visitation or custody rights of your child in South Carolina.
After Paternity Is Established
You have had the DNA test and it proves you are the father of the child. In the eyes of the court, you and the mother are now on a level playing field. As the legal father, you have rights and responsibilities. You are able to ask the court for visitation or custody rights, but you may also be required to financially support your child.
Once you have established you are the legal father, you may be a bit nervous. That is perfectly okay. Keep in mind being the legal father comes with great responsibilities, but also wonderful rewards. By establishing visitation or custody, as your child’s dad, you are on the road to becoming a very important person person in your child’s life.
Beaufort, SC Child Custody Lawyer
If you are an unwed father and would like to be in your child’s life, contact us today. We will explain the steps in detail for establishing visitation or custody of your child in South Carolina. When you are ready to become the legal father, we will be with you every step of the way.