If you are an unmarried parent and a resident of Pennsylvania, a time may come when you need to establish the paternity of your child. Maybe you are a mother looking to pursue a child support order, or perhaps you are a father who wants to ensure you have rights to your child.
Regardless of your reason for establishing paternity, doing so can have considerable benefits for all involved. First, it benefits a child emotionally to have a firm understanding of his or her parentage. Additional benefits might include:
Unless you establish paternity, your child will not have access to his or her father’s estate. This means if the father passes away before doing so, your child has no claim over any money, property and so on that the father left behind.
Access to benefits
For your child to be able to take advantage of his or her father’s employee or military benefits, you must first establish legal paternity. You would also need to establish paternity for your child to gain access to Social Security benefits.
Knowledge of medical history
Establishing paternity also allows your child to have access to his or her medical background, which can provide critical information about family medical history. This also may give your child more options in the event that a serious medical situation arises where a transplant or related type of procedure may be necessary.
Parental rights or child support
If you are a father and want to have legal rights to your child, you may do so through establishing paternity. Similarly, if you are a mother and you want to secure child support from your child’s father, you must also take this step.
Establishing paternity has clear benefits. To do so, both parents can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity. If this is not a reasonable option, the second way of doing so involves getting a court order.