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John Edwards News: Frances Quinn and the Duties of Unmarried Fathers

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By Minara El-Rahman on January 22, 2010 12:02 PM

The latest John Edwards news is that he has released a statement that declares that he is indeed the father of Rielle Hunter's baby Frances Quinn. ABC News reports that Mr. Edwards wrote: "I am Quinn's father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support that she deserves."

John Edwards admitted having an affair with Rielle Hunter back in 2008. This affair happened at a time when his wife, Elizabeth Edwards had revealed that she was battling breast cancer that was likely incurable. While he admitted having the affair, he did not admit that he was the father of Ms. Hunter's baby. He said in an interview with ABC's Bob Woodruff: "That is absolutely not true."

This new admission opens a whole new world of legal obligations for John Edwards.

What are the duties of unmarried fathers toward their children?

Mr. Edwards likley must pay child support, which according to his statement does not sound like it will be disputed.

The child is considered his biological child, so Frances Quinn would be eligible for government benefits such as government pension benefits in the case of his death. She also has rights of inheritance once her father eventually passes.

Both parents have rights to custody over Frances Quinn, though limits of custody and visitation could of course be put in place. Mr. Edwards, however, could claim visitation rights and could be in line for custody of Frances Quinn if anything happens to Rielle Hunter.

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