Establishing paternity in the legal context may seem counterintuitive to a father who has signed his child’s birth certificate and has otherwise raised and supported the child since the child’s birth. However, in order to establish paternity legally, a father must petition the court to do so.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
For a person who fathered a child out of wedlock, it can be important to have paternity established via a court order to establish any legal rights to the child and secure visitation with the child. Visitation with the child can become an issue for the father who does not have paternity legally established when, for example, the mother of the child refuses to allow the father to see the child. In such a case, a child’s mother would have far superior rights than the father who has not had paternity adjudicated. Moreover, without a court order establishing paternity, the father would not be able to exercise visitation with the child nor have any legal rights to the child absent court intervention.
How It Affects Mothers
On the flip side, establishing paternity for the mother of a child is also equally as important. This is especially true when the child’s father is not exercising much, if any, visitation with the child and the father does not provide financial support to the child. In a petition to establish paternity, custody, visitation and child support can also be addressed.
If you are a parent with any of the above-mentioned concerns or have any questions about how to establish paternity, please contact our office to speak to one of our experienced family law attorneys who can guide and assist you through the process.