Do Unmarried Parents Need To Establish Paternity If They Stay Together?

Yes. Even if the parents stay together, the father could become disabled or die. In most cases, children born to unmarried parents can be assured of receiving certain benefits only if paternity has been established. If paternity has been established, your child will have the possible right of inheritance from both parents. The child may also be eligible for other benefits such as Social Security, medical insurance, life insurance, and veteran`s benefits. Without paternity, there is no provision for the possibility that the parents might separate in the future. If unmarried parents do separate and paternity has not been established, every member of the family is at risk, regardless of who takes the child. If the mother takes the child, she cannot get an order for child support without first establishing paternity, and the father has no standing to seek custody or visitation. If the father keeps the children, it is more difficult for him to obtain certain benefits if he is not the legal father. Children who are supported by only one parent often do not have enough money for even basic needs. Your child is entitled to financial support and other resources from both parents. Your child`s doctor needs to know whether he or she has inherited any diseases or disorders, many of which may not be detected at birth or in childhood. Doctors can better treat your child if they know the full medical history of the family.

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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