Paternity is the state or condition of being a father. When paternity is established, the court will be able to make decisions on child support, child custody, and child visitation. There are many ways that proving paternity can be beneficial. Continue reading to learn more about paternity. If you have any further questions regarding paternity or child support/custody, give our experienced family law attorney a call today. We would be happy to assist you with your family law matters.
Why Proving Paternity is Important
A paternity case may need to be opened to establish parental rights, especially when parents are unmarried at the time of conception or birth of their child. Paternity is used as the basis for child custody and visitation orders. California Family Code section 7570 states that there is a compelling state interest in establishing paternity for all children in order to award child support. It is also important to establish paternity to determine the father and mother’s health insurance, social security, military benefits, inheritance rights, and medical diagnosis.
Proving paternity can also be the difference between receiving the legal right to death benefits or possible inheritance, in the event of the birth father’s death. This can include veteran’s benefits of Social Security.
California has established a procedure that allows paternity to be voluntarily established which has eased the process. Increased paternity establishment means that more children will have access to child support and other legal benefits.
Another reason why establish paternity is important is when a parent is seeking full custody. Under California Family Code section 7571, the man the mother identifies as the father at the time of the birth has the opportunity to complete a voluntary declaration of paternity. This declaration will be signed by both parties and forwarded to the Department of Child Support Service within 10 days. This declaration, when properly filed and completed, establishes the paternity of the child. The signed document should have the same weight and effect as a legal paternity judgment, should there be any legal issue.
Determining paternity can be a difficult process, especially if you are also seeking child custody. If you have found yourself in a similar situation, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced family law attorney who can assist you with the legal process ahead.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.