For some fathers in Indiana, making use of their parental rights is easier than it is for others. Married fathers and fathers who are on good terms with the mothers of their children often benefit from a very straightforward process when seeking time with their children. Even if their romantic relationship ends, they will be able to request shared custody or visitation.
Unmarried fathers need to establish their relationship with the child officially so that the state can grant them their rights. Some fathers can quickly and easily establish paternity with the cooperation of the mother of their child. Others are not so fortunate. It may be necessary to go to court and have genetic tests performed to validate a father’s claims of paternity. Sometimes, confusion or misinformation about that testing process may lead to men delaying paternity testing. The two facts below may benefit unmarried fathers who want to protect their relationships with their children.
Paternity testing is not invasive
Especially when a child is young, parents may dislike the idea of needing to draw blood or engage in any other medical action that might cause the child discomfort or pain. The good news about modern genetic testing is that it does not require a blood sample. It’s an entirely non-invasive process that won’t traumatize a child in any way.
Testing isn’t optional
Some men fail to establish paternity because they assume that the mother of their child will not cooperate with the testing process. However, should the court determine that the testing is necessary and appropriate to validate someone’s claim of paternity, the mother generally cannot decline to present the child for validation of that claim.
In other words, even in a situation involving a bad relationship and an uncooperative mother, the father can ask the courts for support to establish his role in the life of his child. Although establishing paternity is often faster with the cooperation of the mother, it is sometimes necessary to prove conclusively that there is a genetic tie between father and child and to have the courts acknowledge that connection.
Understanding how Indiana manages paternity testing may benefit fathers who do not yet have their names on their children’s birth certificates. Seeking legal guidance can clarify and speed the process, in many cases.