What Rights Do Unmarried Parents Have in Kentucky?

Unmarried Fathers Rights in Kentucky

If a child is born between two unmarried people, then the father does not have any rights to custody or visitation, until paternity is established. Paternity can be established by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) or by genetic testing.

How to Establish Paternity in Kentucky

After a child is born to unmarried parents, both parents can sign a VAP form. The VAP process is managed by the Kentucky Paternity Acknowledgement Program. If they both sign it, the man will be considered the biological father of the child.

When people go to hospitals or birthing facilities to deliver babies, the medical staff will provide parents with the VAP. Both parents should read the VAP and, if they understand and agree with it, both should sign and date it in the presence of a notary public. If the couple later separates, the mother can ask for child support or the father can ask for child custody, visitation, and child support (if the court awards him custody).

If one or both parents doesn’t want to sign the VAP, neither is awarded the same legal rights a divorced couple has concerning custody, visitation, and child support. One of them must then ask the court to demand genetic testing from the other parent. If a DNA link is established, the court will issue a final paternity judgment, which means paternity has been formally established and the father’s name added to the child’s birth certificate.

If you need help establishing the paternity of your child, talk to our skilled Bowling Green family law attorney about your case as soon as possible. Attorney Pamela C. Bratcher has nearly three decades of legal experience to offer you and your family. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (270) 977-8910 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.