Establishing parentage can be important for both the parents and the child. In California, establishing parentage requires either voluntary acknowledgment of paternity by the father or genetic testing. An individual or family may wish to establish parentage for many reasons, including motives that relate to the child’s welfare and wellbeing. Establishing parentage to outline the legal parents for a child can have many benefits.
What Are Common Motivators for Establishing Paternity?
Establishing paternity is a legal process that officially ties a father to his child on a legal level. Once paternity is established, the father will have certain parental rights and responsibilities. The father will have to start paying child support, for example, if the parents are divorced or separated. The father will also have parental rights granted to him, such as the right to custody or visitation. A family may wish to obtain a paternity acknowledgement to establish parentage for many different reasons. According to a study of unmarried parents by The University of Texas, the most common motivators for establishing paternity include:
- Personal or emotional reasons.
- The mother and/or father really wanted to.
- One or both parties wanted the father’s name on the birth certificate.
- Concern for public benefits.
- Concern for child support.
- The mother wanted to ensure the child has a legal father.
- The father wanted to ensure his right to custody or visitation.
- The mother wanted to make the child eligible for health insurance, government benefits, etc.
In contrast, the choice not to establish paternity most often involved the alleged father not being present in the delivery room, the alleged father not wanting paternity establishment, the alleged father or mother not thinking it was important, the alleged father doubting paternity, lack of necessary ID for paternity establishment, and not knowing the proper steps of establishing paternity. These results came from assessing 800 Texas mothers who gave birth to children outside of wedlock. They help shed light on potential reasons a family may wish to establish parentage.
How Establishing Parentage Can Help the Child
One of the main reasons for a mother or father to take the legal steps to establish paternity in San Diego is to benefit the child. Confirming the identity of the child’s legal father can open up many opportunities for the child on an economic and noneconomic level. If someone is undecided on whether or not to establish parentage, recognizing the benefits it could bring to the child often makes the decision easier for the mother or father.
- Financial and emotional support from both parents. Establishing paternity legally confirms the father’s responsibility to help support the child financially, such as through a child support award. It is also linked to emotional paternal involvement and support, which can have positive child outcomes.
- Legal documentation of who the parents are. Putting the names of the parents of a child in writing in California can be important for legal reasons. It can ensure the child receives an inheritance from the established parent after the parent’s death, for example.
- Benefits related to a father’s employment. A child can receive many financial benefits through the father’s job or career once paternity is established. These include government benefits, employment benefits, insurance, disability benefits, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and death benefits.
Establishing parentage can be important for a child’s personal and financial wellbeing. Officially establishing paternity through California’s required legal process can come with a variety of benefits for the child. These benefits could improve a child’s overall quality of life and mental health. For these reasons, establishing parentage is a common legal matter in the San Diego courts.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
If you wish to establish parentage and need assistance with the legal process in the State of California, contact a family law attorney. A paternity lawyer can make a complicated legal process much easier on you and your family, including contacting your child’s father, conducting a paternity test with the potential biological father and petitioning the courts to establish parentage. The lawyers and family law facilitators and Boyd Law have experience helping clients establish paternity for a variety of personal and financial reasons. Call (619) 232-1206 today for a free consultation with our paternity lawyers in San Diego.