Sir Xsarus wrote:
You're also missing the most common case. Guy knocks up his girlfriend, then they break up. Then he wants nothing to do with her or the child. Since they weren't married, she has to employ legal action to try to force paternal responsibility on him. If he moves, or doesn't have a permanent address, or in any other way avoids this, it's nearly impossible for her to accomplish. And she has to prove he's the father, which requires some form of paternity test. And frankly, she also may not think it's worth the effort anyway.
I think you're pulling this fact out of your ass.
Is it, or is it not a fact that by default, if a woman who gives birth is married, her husbands is automatically assumed to be the father of the child for legal purposes? There's no need for additional legal action, right? I'm making a true statement that we all damn well know is true, so why the tap dance?
You're basically saying that out of marriage there isn't a good legal recourse and that it's way way more difficult then the exact same situation where the two people are married.
Let's leave off "good legal recourse", since that's subjective. There is legal recourse for a single mother to ensure that the father of her child takes legal responsibility for the child. But it requires direct action on her part. We can speculate as to how much more difficult it is, but it absolutely *is* more difficult.
I guess I"m just not sure what you're really arguing about, much less why. Ignoring cases where the father has died (which apply equally anyway), how many children born to married women don't have a legally recognized father? Zero, right? Is the number of children born to single mothers who don't have a legally recognized father also zero? I mean, I don't know the percentage right off the top of my head, but we both know that it's greater than zero. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's probably quite a bit greater than zero.
Marriage makes that percentage zero. Thus, it provides legal protection for the child from that state. Obviously, it doesn't protect them if their father dies, or if their father ignores his responsibility. But it at least ensures that someone
is always listed as the legally recognized the father of that child. Assuming that we place any importance on that at all, this is kinda important.
Maybe this is the case, but I'm going to need some actual laws or cases to establish this.
Establish what? That if a married woman gives birth, her husband is automatically considered the legal father (and half guardian) of the child? Or that if a single woman gives birth no one is automatically considered the legal father of the child?
I didn't think that was in question. Is it? Why? How do you think the laws work?
Remember, this isn't a one night stand, it's two people in a relationship, who then break up after there is a kid. To make it easier, you don't have to consider details about actually getting a divorce, the guy just runs off in both situations.
I'm not sure what you're asking. It seems like you're trying to complicate this too much. It's really very simple. If the woman is married when she gives birth (and btw, most (all?) states prohibit divorce during a pregnancy), legal paternity of the child is established because of the state of marriage that exists. The husband is automatically the father. If the woman is not married paternity is not automatically established at birth and additional legal action must be taken (by both parties) to establish paternity.
Why is this confusing to you? I honestly don't understand what case you're arguing or why you think it matters. Everything else being equal, a child is less likely to suffer without a father if there is a legal establishment of paternity at some point. Marriage between the child's parents guarantees that paternity is established. Absence of a marriage makes it a crap shoot. I just can't figure out how many different ways I have to explain this to get you to understand. Everything else being equal, a child born to married parents is more legally protected in this regard than one that is born to a single mother.
Again, I thought I didn't need to argue this point. Seemed like something everyone would understand and accept right off the bat. Is there really this much confusion about how marriage affects paternity? I thought everyone understood this.