North Carolina’s paternity laws for unmarried people are similar to most states. An unwed mother has full legal custody of her child unless the father establishes paternity. He is then on his way to becoming the child’s legal father.
The law uses the term “legal father” only in specific circumstances. The Child Welfare Information Gateway states that a legal father must either be married to the mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth or a man who previously established his paternity.
It is not so cut and dry for an unwed father. For clarity, the law describes unmarried fathers without legal parental rights as one or more of the following terms:
Responsibilities of a legal father
Once a father acknowledges his child legally, he gains certain rights and faces new responsibilities. According to FindLaw, the father’s obligations are now the same as a father within a marriage. He is now able to seek custody and visitation rights, but he is also required to provide financial support for the child and for medical costs incurred during pregnancy and birth.
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Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.
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