Parents have legal rights and responsibilities for their children. When paternity is disputed, there’s so much at stake. Decisions made about a child’s health, education, and welfare, as well as the parent’s personal relationship with their child, are all on the line.
If you want to establish the paternity of your child, you don’t have to do it on your own. It is wise to seek sound legal advice about paternity rather than getting it from well-meaning family and friends. If you are a father who wants to have legal rights to spend time with your child, or a mother who knows her child can benefit from their father’s support, you should speak with an experienced and knowledgeable paternity attorney.
At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I provide legal advice to clients in paternity disputes in Ontario, Riverside, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County, California. For more than 20 years, I have offered as much time—or as little time—as parents need to navigate the emotional issues surrounding paternity.
Who Benefits from Establishing Paternity?
Establishing the legal paternity of a father can be equally important to the father, mother, and child. While the mother who delivers a child is automatically assumed to be the mother, paternity of that child must be established.
Important for the Child
Paternity is important for children who can qualify for benefits through the father, including Social Security, health insurance, and claims against the father’s estate. It may be important to know their father’s medical history. It may also be in their best interest to have a relationship with their father.
Important for the Mother
For the mother, paternity establishes the father’s legal obligation to provide financial support for the child via a child support order. It may also encourage the father to have a relationship with the child as part of a parenting plan.
Important for the Father
A father establishing paternity can have his name placed on the child’s birth certificate, seek parenting time and child support, and add dependent children to health or dental insurance. Fathers need paternity established to enjoy the legal rights of a parent.