What is Paternity and Why Does it Matter?

Family Law
What is Paternity and Why Does it Matter?

December 01, 2015

What exactly is paternity?

Understanding what it means is important. Paternity in simple terms just means fatherhood. Establishing paternity is making the relationship between a father and a child an official and legal relationship.

Why does this matter?

Establishing paternity is significant because it can make a huge difference in the life of a child, especially if the father and mother do not live together. Some positives of establishing paternity are as follows:

Identity – Knowing both parents greatly benefits a child and gives a good sense of belonging.

Benefits – A child has the right to benefits from both parents, and these benefits can be denied if paternity isn’t legally established. Some of these benefits a child could be denied include:

  • Social Security
  • Inheritance
  • Life and Health Insurance
  • Veteran’s Benefits

Financial Obligations – Paternity is the first thing to do when trying to establish certain child custody and child support plans. You cannot settle any support or custody issues in court without first establishing paternity.

Birth Certificate – Both the father and the mother’s names will be included on the child’s birth certificate if paternity is established. Take note that if the two parents are unmarried and if paternity is not established, the child automatically gets the mother’s last name and the father won’t at all be included on the certificate.

Medical – Without establishing paternity, there is a chance the child will never know if they have any serious health issues from the father’s side of the family.

How do you establish Paternity in Fort Wayne?

  • If the mother is married: the husband is considered the father.
  • If the mother is divorced/widowed in the past ten months: that husband is considered the father.
  • If the mother is married but the husband thinks he is not the father: genetic tests will be required.
  • If the mother is not married at the time of birth nor during conception: there are two ways to establish paternity that are further described. 1.) Both parents can sign a paternity affidavit. Within three days of the birth of a child, this document can be signed at the hospital. 2.) The case can be taken to court to be figured out. The parties involved can either agree to the paternity requested to be established, otherwise genetic testing is required.

Are you interested in establishing paternity with the help of a Fort Wayne paternity attorney?

The Bellinger Law Office serves clients that are both trying to establish paternity and those are who trying to fight paternity claims. We can help you get through the steps of this legal process. If you have any questions or want to talk to us about your potential case, call us or contact us online today for an initial consultation.

Guidance for Families


Meet Attorney

Robert H. Bellinger



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