Paternity by definition means the state of being someone’s father. Not every family begins in the traditional way. So, when a child is born to parents who are not married to each other, the law doesn’t recognize the biological father as a legal parent and also doesn’t have legal rights to his child until he becomes a legal parent. This is established through paternity, often through the use of DNA testing. The mother or an alleged father of the child can take paternity action to prove or disprove paternity. Mothers often file paternity actions to establish child support obligations. There are several reasons why a mother may want to establish paternity other than child support.
How Do You Establish Paternity?
There are two ways to establish paternity, “voluntarily” by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form or “involuntarily” through a court order.
An AOP is a legal form signed by a man and the child’s mother that states the man is the child’s genetic father. This is usually done when the parents aren’t married but agree on the identity of the child’s father.
Sometimes, in order to establish paternity, the court will order an alleged father to take a paternity test. For men unwilling to admit paternity, it can also be established through a paternity lawsuit filed by the mother or by the state on the mother’s behalf. A paternity suit can require the presumptive father to appear in court and submit to a blood test.
Why Establishing Paternity is Important?
Establishing paternity secures the father’s rights as a parent. It also gives the child a legal connection to their father. When you establish paternity, your child gains legal benefits such as social security, health insurance, life insurance, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits, from both parents if they are available. Not only that, but it allows the child access to the father’s family medical history.
Finding a Family Law Attorney
Paternity affairs can be emotionally and legally complex. But, establishing paternity is more than just having a father named on the child’s birth certificate. The child, mother, and father can all benefit. Having an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, legal procedures and ramifications of establishing paternity. Edmondson Law, PLLC has years of experience and can handle your case with regards to your child’s legal rights and well-being. Contact our law office at 972-442-8329 or visit us at www.wylietxlaw.com for more information on how we can assist you.
Information, Not Legal Advice. We provide the information on this website as a public service. The legal landscape is constantly changing and being modified by state law and case law. As a result, we cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and reflective of the most current jurisprudence.
We do not intend this information to be legal advice. By providing this information, we are not acting as your lawyer. If you need legal advice, you should contact a lawyer through our number (972) 442-8326 or contact another attorney of your choosing.