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When Paternity Can Come Into Play

While it is certainly true that paternity is a factor in many child support and custody disputes between parents who are not married, the attorneys at Just Law, P.L.L.C., are also familiar with a number of other circumstances that can require the legal determination of fatherhood. In fact, you, your child or your child’s other parent may have reasons for wanting to officially establish your child’s paternity under the law.

When considering paternity-related issues, it is helpful to note that legally identifying the father of your child is not the same thing as simply recognizing him within the context of the family. The biological father of a child is not automatically granted parental rights in many cases. Therefore, it is often necessary for parents to establish paternity through legal avenues. 

Besides using genetic testing, you or your child’s other parent could establish paternity in several ways. A parentage order could be issued by the family court system or you and your child’s other parent could complete a voluntary declaration of paternity form. Such legal techniques can also be used to contest previously established paternity in some cases as well.

It can also be helpful to consider when and why determining legal paternity may be helpful to you and your family. Establishing paternity could give your child access to a number of benefits, including:

  • Inheritance
  • Veterans and/or Social Security benefits
  • Citizenship status
  • Family medical history

To learn more about legal paternity and other family law topics, visit our web page anytime.


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