What Is a Paternity Action and Why Do I Need One?
When a child is born to married parents, or to a father who is willing to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity, parentage goes unquestioned. However, in some cases, when a parent is unwilling to comply with voluntary admissions of paternity, actions are necessary.
A paternity action is a legal process that officially recognizes a man as a child’s father. It could be initiated by any interested party –the mother, alleged father, child or agency representing the child, or the state – and offers a myriad of benefits all involved.
Requesting Child Custody or Visitation
By establishing paternity, a man is granted all of the rights that come with fatherhood. Most significantly, this allows a father to request time with his child by exercising his right to seek custody or visitation. In doing so, a father is able to effectively begin building a strong relationship with their child.
Accessing Child Support
Mothers may initiate paternity cases in order to receive financial support from their child’s father. However, child support is not something available exclusively to mothers in paternity cases. If the father asserts his right to ask for custody, and ultimately becomes the primary custodian, he has the right to seek child support payments from the mother.
Uncovering Family Medical Records
When paternity is established, a child gets to supplement what they know about their mother’s medical history with what they can now learn about their father’s. This information is significant, as many illnesses, disorders, and diseases are genetic. By having this complete copy of records available, a child can be examined for early signs of potentially inherited health concerns.
Establishing Parent-Child Relationships
Children have much to gain from a paternity case. Beyond developing a coveted father-child relationship, they may be able access a complete ancestral history from their paternal side. This discovery of an additional side to their family can ultimately provide them with a greater sense of identity.
Contact Alternative Divorce Solutions for help starting a paternity case today.