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Establishing Paternity

Posted on in Paternity

California DNA testing attorney, California paternity lawyerThe reasons for establishing paternity are seemingly endless. This is beneficial to both biological mothers and biological fathers. However, while one may be certain who the parents are of the child, the other parent may not be so sure about it. This can lead to a wide variety of discrepancies and it may result in the dispute being decided in a court of law. Although a courtroom is certainly one way of establishing parentage, there are a few different methods to establishing paternity.

Benefits to Establishing Parentage

Establishing paternity gives a sense of security to the child that was previously unsure of who their parent was. It establishes a bond that will surpass all others if treated correctly. Furthermore, in addition to the emotional stability benefits, there are a few others to touch upon:

  • Identifying a child’s father gives the child access to legal privileges, including medical, dental and life insurance benefits;
  • The father’s child will be entitled to social security, pensions, child support and veterans’ benefits;
  • The child will have a right to inherit the father’s estate upon his passing;
  • Confirming a child’s paternity gives the child access to valuable medical history and other genealogical information; and
  • Some states require the child of an unmarried mother to assume the mother’s last name. A paternity test may be needed if the mother chooses to give the possible father’s last name to her child.

How to Establish Paternity

In the case that the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, then the parentage is often set up automatically. In the event that the child’s parents are unmarried at the time of birth but they are both sure who the father of the child is, then a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity may be filled out and filed. This should be done as soon as possible after the birth of the child to ensure the baby gets the most use of their benefits. Most hospitals have this form available on site, or you may fill it out after you have been released and are home.

Some fathers do not fully believe that they are a parent or would like additional proof before offering any benefits to the child. While it can be hurtful when this happens, it is best to understand where they are coming from and move on with the process. It is possible to establish parentage through court order. The steps can be followed either through a Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) or a family law attorney. The steps are:

  • Ask your chosen liaison to bring an action to establish parentage of your child. This can also be done in conjunction with establishing child support if necessary; or
  • Your contact will next request an order for a DNA test. This can be done during pregnancy or after the child is born.

It is important to realize that although it is a free service, the Local Child Support Agency does not represent either the parent or the child. Also, you are not a legal client of theirs and therefore they are not subject to confidentiality clauses. If they were asked, they are able to share the information with anyone who requests it.

Establishing paternity is something that affects the lives of everyone involved. It is extremely beneficial to have the process completed and a huge money, time, and stress saver to have it done correctly the first time. If you are in the market for an experienced San Jose, CA family lawyer who is reputable and cost effective, Ventresca Law Firm can help you. With over 35 years of experience in the San Jose and Santa Clara, CA area, our expertise will help you get the results you deserve. Call us today at 408-395-8822 for your free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-parentage.htm

http://www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/establishpaternity.aspx

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1201.htm

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