Divorce Guide

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Paternity issues and child support


When you are going through your divorce, child support also becomes an issue. Raising a child is very expensive and you can always ask for child support for your child.

To collect the child support you need to locate the father. There is a need to have a legal proof that he is the father of the child. This can be done if he signs paternity papers or if a judge decides that he is the father. If you are married to the father before the child was born or after the birth then he has to acknowledge being the father. A court case can be started for orders of child support. This is where the paternity issue comes in.

If the father acknowledges voluntary then things are much easier. If not, then you may need to hire a lawyer or the state’s child support enforcement system will bring the necessary case into the court.

It is always wise to approach the state child support enforcement system. They :
    Locate the father
  1. Establish paternity
  2. Establish child support
  3. Enforce child support
  4. Modify support if necessary

Voluntary paternity establishment

If both the parents involved agree to being the parents of the child, then things are much easier. The father should sign paternity acknowledgement form and the paternity is viewed as being legal. The support system, the hospital where the child was born, prenatal clinics and other sources can provide you with the form. There is no need to file any papers in the court to make it legal.

It is very important to think before signing any paternity acknowledgement form. It is very difficult to change the paternity once the form is signed. You should not sign it if you are in a doubt about your parenthood. You should think about the consequences before signing the form of paternity.

Advantages of establishing Paternity

There are many advantages of establishing paternity for a child. It is beneficial to both the parties involved and the child. Once the paternity is established, it is binding on the parents to support the child.

    The medical coverage is also required when it is available at a reasonable cost.
  1. Inheritance becomes easy after the paternity is established.
  2. The child is entitled to receive social security dependents in case of death or becomes disabled.
  3. The child knows about his/her relatives and who they are.
  4. The establishment of paternity also gives the child psychological benefit apart from giving medical history of the relatives

Disadvantages of establishing Paternity

  1. There may be issues related to custody or visitation in some cases when paternity is established
  2. Once the paternity is established, both the parents have equal rights over the child’s custody

Paternity actions are called as establishment hearings, filiation hearings or parentage actions. Once established, the court will order the father to pay for child support and may grant him custody and visitations.


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