Does the unmarried father of a child have to take any steps to establish parental rights? Yes, an unmarried father, even if on the birth certificate, still has to establish paternity. In an uncomplicated case, the parents can enter into a written agreement establishing paternity. Alternatively, the Court may make a finding of paternity either through a Department of Revenue action for child support, or a family court case to establish parental responsibility, timesharing and child support. Either way, paternity must be established before child support and timesharing can be determined. In more complicated situations, where the paternity of the presumed father is not certain, or where the child of unmarried parents was born while the mother was legally married to someone else, a simple consent or agreement will not be adequate to establish, or disestablish, paternity, and the Court may require DNA testing. Once paternity is established, the Court can then determine the father's rights, and also the obligations, involved in being the parent of a child. Those rights include timesharing as well as a role in making major life decisions for your child. The obligations include child support and other care for your child. If you believe your rights as a parent have not been addressed, an attorney will be able to outline your legal rights and responsibilities.