When an unmarried couple has a child, it is important to legally establish the legal rights and responsibilities of the parents, referred to as “paternity.” In cases where the pair is in agreement about the matter, it is as easy as signing a form with the court, which will officially recognize the father as the parent. When the parentage is called into question, however, a DNA test is needed. A DNA test can be used by either side— the supposed father can use it to disprove his relation, or the mother can obtain a court order requiring a DNA test to prove whether someone is or isn’t the father. When a child is conceived between a married couple, the husband is legally considered the “presumed father.” If doubts arise about parentage, then the couple can request a DNA test to challenge that presumption.
Without establishing paternity, the father has absolutely no rights or responsibilities towards the child, for better or for worse. They have no rights to visitation, custody, involvement in the child’s life, and no responsibility to provide attention or monetary support. While the outcome of a paternity support certainly affects both parents, ultimately, the one affected most is the child. Benefits of establishing paternity for the child include:
- Child Support
- Medical benefits, in the form of insurance and knowing the biological father’s medical history, assisting in treating or preventing any possible hereditary disease
- The emotional and psychological benefits of having a present father
- Social Security
At the Law Offices of Glenn R. Wilson, we are experienced in both establishing and contesting paternity cases such that we can help you with your paternity case.
By Connor Douglas Johnson