According to the law, a baby born to a married couple in Hawaii has two legal parents. However, if the couple is not married, only the mother has legal parenthood. If you wish to claim fatherhood of your child legally, there are additional steps. At Coates Frey Hackett & Gibson, our team has experience assisting fathers in establishing paternity of their children.
According to the Department of the Attorney General Child Support Enforcement agency, your child can benefit from having paternity established in a number of ways:
- Having a parent-child relationship provides emotional, financial and moral support.
- Children may qualify for benefits such as veterans, Hawaiian ethnicity, health insurance and Social Security.
- Children can inherit property and other assets from their legal father.
- There is a sense of belonging when children know both parents and their families.
- Adding dad’s name to the birth certificate allows a child unfettered access to the family medical history.
You may also petition for custody of your children once the law sees you as their legal dad. There are two ways that you may establish paternity. If mom also wishes you declared the father, you can both complete and sign a Voluntary Establishment of Paternity by Parents form. You may also file a paternity action in court. This typically results in a DNA test proving you are the father and does not require the approval of the child’s mom.
Once legally acknowledged as a dad, you may pay child support and have the rights of any other father. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.