3 Reasons to Establish Paternity When Not Married

If you have a child and are not married, you may be wondering why it is important to establish paternity. In the U.S. today, up to 40% of all the children who are born are born to parents who are not married. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2007, the figure stood at 18.4%. This web page will review the main reasons it is important to establish paternity.

Why A Paternity Determination is Important for The Father

A person is acknowledged as a child’s father if he is married to the mother at the time when the child is born. He is also regarded as the father if he gets married to the child’s mother soon after the child is born and has his name indicated on the child’s certificate of birth. A person may also be presumed to be the father of a child even if his not married to its mother but has signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

We at Law Offices of Eric Swinyard insist on establishing paternity for an unwed couple because when a person is regarded as the child’s father, he is held accountable for supporting and raising the child. In cases where the father does not fulfill his responsibilities toward the child, the court can compel him to do so in a paternity suit. Furthermore, if the mother intends to offer the child for adoption, she cannot do so without the consent of the father. A father who has established paternity also has child visitation and custody rights even though he is not married to the child’s mother.

Why a Paternity Determination is Important for the Mother

If the paternity of the child is not established, the mother can take legal action against the alleged father. This action is known as a paternity lawsuit. The probable father may need to attend a court hearing and submit to a DNA test. If paternity is determined in this manner, the court will order the person to provide financial and moral support to the child and mother of their child.

Why Paternity is Important For the Child

Statistics have shown that children who grow up without fathers are more likely to drop out of school, get incarcerated, or commit suicide.

The importance of paternity establishment for a child is that it secures the support they will get from their father. Additionally, the child has the right to inheritance, the right to access information regarding the profiles and health risks of the paternal family, and the right to sue for the wrongful death of their father. The child may also be entitled to the father’s workers’ compensation benefits or other governmental assistance based on a deceased person’s dependants. The child also attains psychological and emotional relief from knowing their father.

While establishing paternity may be seen as important for married couples, it is significant for unwed adults as well. Paternity serves to enforce a father’s responsibilities towards their child and the mother of their child. It also helps the child grow up unscathed by the social effects of not having a father during their childhood. Do not hesitate to reach Law Offices of Eric Swinyard, for help on issues regarding the establishment of paternity.

About the Author:

Law Offices of Eric Swinyard is divorce and family law attorney in South Jordan, Utah. For experienced legal assistance, contact Eric for a free 30-minute consultation at (801) 850–9740.

Law Offices of Eric Swinyard
10808 S. River Front Parkway Suite 3080
South Jordan, UT 84095
801–850–9740

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