There are many reasons to establish paternity in California. Establishing paternity provides benefits to both parents and children. Having the father sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is a fist step in establishing paternity in California. However, paternity must be established in California by court order to protect a father’s rights. Once paternity has been established, a party will then be able to ask the court to make orders about child custody, parenting time (visitation), and child support.

“I never knew how important it was to prove I was the father of my son until it became critically urgent! So happy I found A People’s Choice to get me through this process.” David R.

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Four Important Reasons to Establish Paternity

Here are our top 4 reasons to establish paternity:

Paternity Establishes Father-Child Relationship

One of the most important reasons to establish paternity is to establish who the child’s father is. A strong father-child relationship is key to the emotional and psychological development of a child. Establishing paternity is the first step in doing so. If paternity is in question, studies have shown that a “presumed” father is less likely to be involved in a child’s life. Many studies have shown that when both parents have a positive relationship with their children, the children will grow up to be well-rounded adults. In addition, establishing paternity creates inheritance rights and social security and veterans benefits.

Establishing Paternity Allows a Court to Issue Custody & Visitation Orders

Another reason to establish paternity is to be able to obtain custody and/or visitation orders. As a father, you can secure your visitation rights by establishing paternity. After you establish the paternity of your child, you can petition the court to obtain a child custody and visitation order. This type of order allows you to make legal decisions on your child’s behalf and establish a set visitation time. Without a custody and visitation order, the mother can decide when she wants your child to visit with you.

There are Financial Benefits to Establishing Paternity

One of the key reasons to establish paternity as the biological father of your child is to avoid the child support trap. A  mother can go to the child support office to establish support payments. The amount of time the father spends with his child is one of the most significant factors in determining the amount of support a mother receives. If there is no visitation order in place, the child support office may use a default amount of visitation time. The mother will receive a maximized child support order. Establishing paternity also protects fathers from paying fraudulent child support claims made by the child’s mother.

If you are a mother, a key reason to establish paternity is to get a child support order. Outside a court order, the collection of child support is not guaranteed. As a mother of a minor child, you can go to their local child support office or contact A People’s Choice to get help in getting a formal child support order. We can help you draft and file the documents you need to get a valid court order.

Medical Benefits When Paternity Has Been Established

One of the most overlooked reasons to establish paternity is for medical purposes. The child’s doctor may need to review and know the biological father’s family medical history for testing and treating specific genetic traits and diseases which may affect your child. A father can add his child to his medical benefits once paternity is established.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information about the many reasons to establish paternity. We can help you prepare the forms you need to establish the paternity of your child and get child support, custody and visitation orders.

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