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Am I The Father? The Results of Signing the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

December 6, 2019

Father holding daughter (2-3) in sea

Raising a child is a beautiful thing, but also a great responsibility. In addition to teaching your child right from wrong and making sure they are a model human being, you are solely responsible for their wellbeing. This includes medical bills, food, shelter, insurance, and on and on.

Unfortunately, there are situations where parents are unsure of the legitimacy of their child. If by chance you are unsure if the child is biologically yours, signing the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or Birth Certificate could have consequences.

What is the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and What Does it Mean?

The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity is one of the fastest ways to establish paternity for a child. This document details the rights and responsibilities of the father. This form is completed when the parents of a child are not married, or one is out of the picture. Couples sign this form to establish paternity for one or more of the following reasons:

• To protect the rights of each parent

• To add the father’s name to the birth certificate

• To ensure the child’s benefits including medical support, financial support, Social Security, inheritance and veteran’s benefits

• And more

If you are an unmarried father or mother, the hospital staff will provide you a VAP form to complete. If you are 100% sure that you are the biological father of a child or are ready to fully commit to the child, make sure to completely fill out the form — front and back.

Why Shouldn’t I Sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity?

If you are unsure of the true father or do not believe that the child is yours, signing on the dotted line means that you are in charge of child support, payments to the mother, and other duties.

When you are either confident or believe you are not the father, do not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Instead, contact the family law attorneys at Hagar and Phillips.

A paternity test could be involved, and if so you want the best legal representation possible. Even if you sign the VAP and change your mind within 60 days of signing, you should still have an attorney understand your case and be ready to defend your rights.

Contact a Trusted Wilson County TN Attorney

To learn more about family law, paternity cases and how the attorneys at Hagar and Phillips contact our Lebanon TN legal team, or call 615-784-4588 today to schedule your legal consultation.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.