Paternity comes from the Latin word for "father" and means the state of being someone's father, and is a word used primarily in a legal sense. There can be many issues surrounding the question of paternity but the most fundamental is of course the establishment of either "yes or no, am I someone's father?" Until this question is determined, the other aspects such as custody, support, visitation or decision making are difficult to adjudicate and very tough to enforce.
Issues that Can Demand Paternity Testing
When a child is born and the parents are not married then only the maternal side is legally recognized. The establishment of paternity takes action on the part of the father. Sometimes the easiest path is the simple signature on a form by both parents that an individual is the child's father. However this is not always possible.
The mother may not wish to recognize someone as the child's father. The father may have been unaware of the child's birth. The father could have been located at a geographic distance or perhaps even incarcerated. Or perhaps the paternity is suspect and needs to be freed from question. Just as anything in life, things can get complicated. It is often recommended that a Fort Myers divorce lawyer be engaged to help guide one through the legal path of establishing paternity and also paternal rights.
Establishing Paternity and Paternal Rights
When the question of paternity extends past the simple then it is best to seek legal advice from a family law firm such as Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law. Often the process will require establishment of paternity by the family courts and this requires completing exact legal forms and procedures. Providing genetic testing results, such as DNA or blood, can often be an important part of executing the paternity case.
For the child this can be very important in their future lives as it helps them by:
- Having legal proof of the identity of each parent
- Understanding the family medical history and any inherited health conditions
- Removing any questions the child would have regarding the identity of both parents
- Documenting the father's name for legal purposes on the birth certificate
- For providing health or life insurance
- Various sources of support - Social Security, child support, Social Security, possible veteran benefits/military allowances and inheritance.
Establishing paternity can resolve many issues for a parent and provide benefits to a child. If you need help please contact a Fort Myers Paternity Lawyer.
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