Top Three Reasons Why You Should Establish Paternity
Establishing paternity means to legally identify the biological father of a child. Within a married couple, paternity is automatically established to the husband. But what happens when an unmarried couple has a child? In the instances where a couple has a child without being legally wed, paternity is not automatically granted. As a result, the biological father must establish paternity. This can be done either through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or, if he declines to sign this form, through other legal action. While the process seems trivial and unimportant to some, establishing paternity is actually extremely important for numerous reasons.
Building a Positive Relationship With Your Child
Establishing paternity can help solidify both you and your child’s position as part of a family. Without establishing paternity through the courts, a father’s right to see the child, enjoy time with the child or partake in decisions regarding the child does not exist. The mother is given all the rights by law, while the father is left without any rights.
Spending time with a child, especially for a young child that is still developing, being aware of who their father is can help assure their selfhood. This will allow them to develop their character and mature with self-confidence in the long run. Reassuring the child’s identity is important because it can provide them with validation and make a positive impact in their life.
Furthermore, establishing paternity is a step towards a healthy father and child relationship. By acknowledging a person’s role as a legal father, the father or child may feel a deeper emotional attachment to the other person. When a healthy father and child relationship is pursued, the child’s psychological and social health can also improve over time. Ultimately, establishing paternity can help better your entire family’s emotional wellbeing.
Legal Rights to Your Child
Establishing paternity is also central to ensuring that you receive fair rights as a parent. When paternity is not established, the father has no say in child custody and visitation rights. This is because the mother is wholly in charge of determining custodial and visitation rights of the non-legal father. If the father wants to contest his custodial and visitation rights with the mother, paternity needs to be established before the court can order anything. For a father to rightfully gain their full rights as a parent, it is imperative to go through the entire legal process of establishing paternity.
Diseases and disorders are sometimes hereditary, which is why family history is considered highly valuable information by medical experts. When paternity is officially established, a doctor can have a better idea of a child’s overall health, their future health risks, and potential diagnoses. For example, if a specific disease runs in the family, a child can make conscious lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the disease as long as possible. Establishing paternity provides important medical insight that can help preserve the health of a child.
Other Rights and Privileges from the Establishment of Paternity
Without establishing paternity, a father may be overlooked or ignored as an option for placement should something happen to the mother that makes the mother unfit or unable to care for the child. That may result in the father not being considered by the Department of Children and Family should an emergency occur.
Additionally, should paternity not be established by the court while the father is living, upon his passing the child may not be given the opportunity to participate in inheritance and obtain “orphan” rights such as social security benefits and educational scholarship benefits that may otherwise be available.
Interested In Establishing Paternity In Florida?
Overall, establishing paternity comes with numerous benefits for the parents and the child. If you are someone that is interested in establishing paternity, it is important to have an attorney that can help guide you through the legal process. To get in touch with an experienced Port St. Lucie paternity attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us at Baginski, Brandt & Brand today.