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Rights of an Unwed Father: A Guide for Connecticut Residents

When a child is born out of wedlock in Connecticut, the rights of the father can be complex and may require legal clarification. Understanding these rights is crucial for both the father and the child’s best interests. Here’s a guide to help unwed fathers navigate their rights:

Establishing Paternity
In Connecticut, when a child is born to unwed parents, the father does not have automatic legal rights to the child. To establish paternity and assert his rights, the father must legally acknowledge paternity through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. This form can be signed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth or later at the town clerk’s office.

Custody and Visitation
Once paternity is established, the unwed father has the right to seek custody or visitation with the child. If the parents can agree on a custody and visitation arrangement, they can create a parenting plan that outlines the details. If the parents cannot agree, the court may intervene and establish a plan based on the best interests of the child.

Child Support
Unwed fathers in Connecticut are also responsible for providing financial support for their children. The court will determine the amount of child support based on the state’s guidelines, taking into account factors such as the father’s income and the child’s needs.

Inheritance Rights
Establishing paternity also gives the child inheritance rights from the father. This means that if the father passes away without a will, the child may be entitled to a share of the father’s estate.

Legal Representation
Navigating the legal aspects of paternity, custody, visitation, and child support can be complex. It is advisable for unwed fathers to seek legal representation to ensure their rights are protected and to help them understand their obligations.

While the rights of an unwed father in Connecticut are not automatic, they can be established through legal means. By acknowledging paternity, unwed fathers can assert their rights to custody, visitation, and involvement in their child’s life. Seeking legal advice can help unwed fathers understand their rights and responsibilities and navigate the legal process effectively.


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