If you are no longer in a relationship with the other parent of your newborn child, it's likely that you will have many questions and concerns as a single mother. One of the first legal decisions that you will have to make regarding your child is what information to display on the birth certificate. As the child's mother, you have the sole right to decide on this information if you are not married or have not otherwise established paternity.
It's common for single mothers to be confused about whether to put the person they consider to be the father on the birth certificate. This is often because it can have several implications that may be positive or negative depending on the specific circumstances. The following are the possible benefits and drawbacks that naming the father on your child's birth certificate could have.
The advantages of naming the father on the birth certificate
One of the key benefits of naming the father is the fact that you will have the right to file for child support. Fathers that have established paternity have the legal duty to pay income-based child support when it has been filed for by the mother. This can contribute toward the financial costs of raising your child.
Additionally, naming the father can protect your child from unforeseen circumstances. It can provide death benefits for your child in the event of the father passing away.
The disadvantages of naming the father on the birth certificate
If you are not in contact with the father of your child, you may want to think twice before naming them as the father. This is because you may encounter difficulties in getting your child's passport issued or in registering them for school if you cannot locate the father.
When you name the father on the birth certificate, you are voluntarily acknowledging paternity. This means that they could assert their parental rights by filing for custody at any time. You may see this as something that could bring turbulence to your child's life in the years to come.
If you are dealing with issues regarding paternity as a single mother, it is important that you understand how the law works in Florida. By planning ahead, you will have the best possible chance of having control over the situation.