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How do I Establish Paternity and why is it Important?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Paternity on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

There can be a variety of important reasons to establish paternity for a child. Paternity establishes the legal father of a child. In turn, establishing the legal paternity of a child provides rights and benefits for the child and all parties involved. When a Florida resident has a paternity issue, it can be worth it to understand the benefits, process and expectations related to a legal determination of paternity.

For the child, establishing paternity allows the child to know the identity of the father; have the father on the child's birth certificate; provides access to family medical history for the child; may provide health and life insurance rights for the child when available; provides for a variety of different types of support from both parents; and allows for receipt of important benefits, such as government benefits, when applicable, as well as inheritance rights.

Parents are able to obtain certain rights and benefits by establishing paternity, including child support, visitation and custody and legal decision-making rights concerning the child. There are several methods through which legal paternity can be established. In addition to marriage, legal paternity can be established through an acknowledgment of paternity when the child is born or at some later time; an administrative or court order based on genetic testing; or the mother and father become married after the child's birth and update birth records through the state.

There can be a number of important reasons to establish paternity. Paternity establishes the legal father of a child and provides clear rights, benefits, responsibilities and obligations for the parties involved, in addition to the emotional benefits that may also result from a legal determination of paternity.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Establishing Legal Paternity," Accessed March 2, 2015

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