Establishing paternity means that you have established yourself as your child’s legal father. A couple who is legally married does not have to satisfy any extra steps for the husband to be established as a child’s father, but the opposite is true for an unwed mother. In this circumstance, paternity can be legally established through a court order or voluntarily (using a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form).
Paternity can establish a source of child support, including health insurance benefits. Whether or not a father is married or in his child’s life, he is almost always obligated to financially support the child and the custodial parent or guardian. If you are a single mother raising a child, establishing paternity can compel the father to contribute a portion of his income to support your family.
Additionally, if the child’s father is a veteran or disabled, for instance, the child might be entitled to certain government benefits. If the child’s father has health insurance, your child might also be covered under his plan. A child’s access to his father’s estate should he pass away is another valuable benefit to establishing paternity.
Paternity allows the father to have a say in important life decisions involving the child. When you are established as a child’s legal father, you may voice your opinion involving his or her education and religious upbringing. Also, the child’s mother may not abruptly move across the country or globe without prior notification (and sometimes, approval).
Paternity gives fathers a legal avenue in which they may assert a presence in their child’s life. You do not have a legal basis to file for parenting time for children which are not yours. Establishing paternity in Florida gives you a foothold in which you may successfully petition for visitation time.
Your child will have access to family medical history. Preventive care is important and beneficial during your child’s formative years. It is crucial for anyone to know any diseases that run in the family, and medical teams will benefit greatly from knowing any susceptibilities of your child.
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Being shut out from your child’s life is heart wrenching. Not having your child’s father contributing to your lives can be equally difficult for single mothers. An ideal situation is one in which a child’s father is agreed upon by both parents in signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Sometimes, though, paternity must be established through court orders. If you are trying to establish paternity for your child and there are obstacles in your way, please reach out to me so we may come up with a solution.
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Each Blog is written by Jesse Philippe-Auguste, Esq.