My ex-girlfriend is pregnant and I believe I am the biological father. However, she is threatening to completely shut me out of the child's life.
As an unwed father, how can I ensure she lists me as the father on the birth certificate or at least allows me a paternity test before trying to list someone else?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana divorce and paternity laws where I am licensed to practice.
If you suspect you are the father of her child, you should determine whether the state where the mother resides has a putative father registry.
You should register as the putative father, usually with the department of health and vital statistics or similar office. You may do this before the child is born, and you should do this as soon as possible.
You may also be able to initiate a paternity action prior to the birth of the child but this should be done in addition to registering on the putative father registry. This will allow you to inform the court and the child’s mother that you believe you are the child’s father and preserve your rights as the father of the child.
A paternity action will also allow you to establish child support and parenting time with the child immediately following the child’s birth.
The court may require a genetic test if the mother denies that you are the father, however, it will prohibit the mother from taking any action such as placing the child up for adoption without notice to you.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.