Paternity is called to a legally acknowledged relationship between a father and his child. Most paternity cases are declared on children born out of wedlock for certain legal rights and benefits provided to children born to married parents.
Undoubtedly, the law presumes that the father of the newborn child is the husband of the mother when they are married to each other. On the other hand, the unmarried mother shall have to establish paternity when she gives birth. In most cases, establishing of paternity by the child or the mother can be done before birth or at any time until the child reaches 18 or the legal age.
Here are the legal ways to establish paternity:
Voluntary Acknowledgment. Both parents can sign an acknowledgement paper for paternity purposes. The requirement may be done right after the birth of the child or at a later time. Once completed, the child can then bring the father’s name on his/her birth certificate.
Court Determination. A parent can act as much to petition the court to establish paternity. The involved parties have the right to cross-examine witnesses, determine and submit potential evidence to the court. A court may consider different components to prove paternity. It includes the sexual relationship between the mother and the possible father, the details with regard to the time and date of conception, and results of genetic testing. If the judge has proven the paternity tests accurate, the judge will assign legal paternity to the biological father.
Genetic Testing. Genetic tests are also applicable for paternity testing. It is used to prove the biological connection between a child and his/her potential father. Performing paternity tests examines the DNA found in the blood or saliva of the mother, child and the possible father. Paternity will be granted if it is more likely than not that the child’s DNA is inferred from the DNA of the possible father. If one wishes to undergo genetic testing, they better contact their state child support agency. Child support agencies are known to pay the cost for paternity tests until the identity of the father is finally named. Once it is proven, the father is required to compensate for all the testing costs.
Estoppel. In other parts of the world, a person can establish paternity by volunteering or offering himself out to be the parent of a child, and providing everything that a child needs, from financial to emotional support for the child.
Why is the establishment of paternity important?
Many advantages come out after an established paternity. First and foremost, it can increase a child’s status of living. Meanwhile, a court is not held liable to order any child support tolls from a father unless paternity is proven and established. Moreover, paternity also enables a child to get an advantage from his/her parent’s medical insurance coverage, including government programs such as social security, disability and veterans fees. Other than that, it will also allow the child to inherit properties from the father. It can save a child’s life by having an access from the parent’s full family medical history, which is important during medical emergencies. Additionally, finding of paternity also benefits the father because it gives him visitation rights and to become involved in the child/children’s lives. Also, if certain situations happen like a child being born out of wedlock to a non-citizen mother and a citizen father, the United States of America can exclusively provide citizenship to the child if the biological citizen father has set up paternity before the child reaches the age of 18.
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