There are a number of reasons that unmarried fathers in Alaska may need to establish paternity, many of which are done for the benefit of the child. One argument is that children should have the opportunity to know their fathers. Another reason is that it establishes a father’s legal obligation to pay child support. Establishing paternity also makes a child eligible for various benefits, such as Social Security or inheritances. Finally, it may help the child to learn about any genetic medical conditions that could arise.
The process for establishing paternity differs depending on whether the father is voluntarily participating in the process. The father can sign a declaration at the time of the child’s birth or an affidavit at a later date confirming paternity.
If the father does not acknowledge paternity voluntarily, the mother can contact the local office of Child Support Enforcement for assistance. If the mother does not know where the alleged father is, agencies like Social Security and the IRS may assist in locating him. Once located, the father has the opportunity to acknowledge paternity voluntarily. If he does not, he may be asked to submit to a genetic test. If the person refuses to take the test, he might be named the father by default.
In other situations, a father may want more access to his child and is struggling to gain that access. He may want to consult Anchorage, Alaska, family law attorneys for men to discuss the situation and his rights. A father may have only recently learned that he has a child or might want to become more involved in his child’s life. He may want more extensive visitation time or custody of the child. In some cases, a father may be concerned about the child’s well-being with the mother or another family member.