Why Is It Important To Establish Paternity?

Children have the right to support from both parents. Children need their parents to work together to provide support. This is true even when the parents are not married to one another. If the parents of a child were not married when the child was born, they need to establish paternity. Paternity means fatherhood. To establish paternity is to establish fatherhood­­to legally name a child`s father. Establishing paternity truly benefits a child. Establishing fatherhood is important to a child`s sense of self. Every child should know who his or her father is. Establishing fatherhood makes it easier to find out about medical problems that may run in the family. And only a legal father can put his child on his health insurance policy, and get health care for his child in an emergency. Establishing fatherhood makes it easier for the child to obtain help from the father`s Social Security or veteran`s benefits, or from an inheritance if the father becomes disabled or dies. In addition, establishing paternity is a prerequisite for establishing a child support order.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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