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Q: Are there any ramifications if an unmarried mother decides not to tell the child’s father about the child?

Outside of marriage, there is no legal presumption of paternity. A father’s name on a birth certificate does not make him a legal parent. An unmarried father will need to petition the court. Fortunately, family courts recognize that fathers want just as much rights to raise their child(ren). Father should petition for a paternity test, for court ordered visitation, or custody. And a father who repeatedly asks the mother to allow him visitation, or desires to know if he is the father, and mother refuses may just find herself losing custody. The Chancery Courts do not allow these antics to play out in their courtrooms and they will strip a mother of her rights due to proven claims of parental alienation of affection.

As seen in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal’s “Ask a Professional.” 

Ask Amy

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