In most common cases of pregnancy, when a married woman gives birth to a child, her husband is legally presumed to be the father of that child, which establishes his paternity. However, when an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, the biological father of the child must voluntarily claim paternity of the child in order to gain full parental rights.
Sometimes paternity can remain not established for a multitude of reasons. This can often result in legal consequences for some or all involved, so it is important to be educated of these effects before making a decision regarding the paternity of a child. Working alongside an experienced law office like that of Bruce A. Mandel & Family Law can help make a complicated process easy to navigate.
Consequences Of Not Establishing Paternity For The Father
The best way to establish the father’s paternity is by naming him on the baby’s birth certificate. In the event that a father does not establish paternity by being placed on the birth certificate, he will then have no legal parental rights. These rights include visitation or any ability to make decisions for the child. The father also has no obligation to pay child support to the mother, but also he will not have the right to collect child support.
How Not Establishing Paternity Can Affect The Child
Children who do not have an established paternal party can also be affected. The child will not be able to receive any benefits the father may have, such as an insurance plan or any type of compensation in the case of the father passing away. In addition to not being eligible for benefits, the child will also not be able to benefit from child support payments. As mentioned before, child support payments are not required from a father if he is not legally documented. This can sometimes be a downfall of not establishing paternity as these payments can be helpful in covering the child’s basic costs such as housing, food, education, and more.
Establishing Paternity At A Later Date
If paternity was not established upon the birth of a child, but the father would like to now be acknowledged as having legal rights, there is a way to do so. In the event that the mother is willing to participate and sign the legal forms, the process can be relatively easy by filling out an affidavit of paternity and file it with the court.
Unfortunately, if the mother is not willing to cooperate or has an objection, the man seeking paternity may request a court-ordered DNA to prove his relationship. Once it is confirmed that the DNA is a match, the father will then obtain all legal parental rights such a visitation and decision making.
Contact A Torrance Paternity Attorney For Help In Your Case
If at any time the mother has any concerns about the child’s safety in regard to the birth father, she should seek experienced legal counsel. Contact the office of Bruce A. Mandel Divorce & Family Law for experienced and professional assistance handling your specific paternity case in the Torrance, California area or follow us on Facebook to stay easily in touch.