Fathers in Wisconsin should know where the state stands on legal parenting. The state assumes married men are the father of their wife’s child. They only need to sign the birth certificate. Sometimes, unmarried men must go through extra steps to establish paternity.
Some men shy away from this. They may hold fear of potential financial obligations such as child support. But establishing paternity is crucial if you want involvement in your child’s life.
Fatherhood on a Legal Level
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse looks at the importance of establishing paternity. If you have any desire or intention to be in your child’s life, establishing paternity is crucial. This is because the state only acknowledges legal fathers. In other words, your opinions and desires for your child hold no weight without legal backing. Establishing paternity gives you that backing.
A Mother’s Obligations
Without establishing paternity, the mother of your child has no obligations to you. They do not need to keep you informed of how the child is doing. They do not need to let you know if they intend to move elsewhere with the child. They are under no obligation to leave you contact information. This means they could one day leave the city, state or even country. You may not get in contact with them again.
You also have no say in how the child grows up. This includes sharing your opinion about potential medical treatments. You do not even have a say in the religion their mother raises them with.
If you value involvement in your child’s life, establish paternity. This is the way to ensure you have a legal say in these matters.