When a man and a woman are married and have a child, the man is automatically presumed to be the father. However, a man who was not married to a child’s mother does not have any parental rights until his paternity has been legally established. Paternity may be established by the father’s acknowledgement or by a paternity test. Once paternity is established, the father obtains legal rights, including the right to petition for custody and visitation and the right to participate in decisions about the child’s life. Unfortunately, sometimes unmarried couples don’t go through the process of establishing the father’s paternity only to find themselves later in legal battles over the father’s legal rights. If you are a father with more questions about how assert your rights, contact an attorney today.