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What I realized that I should have done is to have a paternity acknowledgement signed when Brendan was born or after I realized I wasn't going to be with my son's father any more I should have gotten on him about a paternity test but I thought he would have continued to send child support so I thought I was being compromising to end up with a result few years down the road to have him stop sending plus how he's not being able to be found.
Plus if your not married the child's father isn't considered a legal father so that would mean without actual paternity done and the child's father passes away he won't get survivors benefits from Social Security.
I never would have known about the help out there for single moms either. The tanf, food stamps, health care, help with rent/utilities, daycare assistance either without going through single parenting classes.
I also say- get everything in writing and court ordered. Don't take someones word for it. Been there, done that and learned hard lessons from it.
Don't be afraid to stand up and say no to the father of kiddos either. Most of the time, threats of retaliation are just that- call bluffs and live your life.