Establishing Paternity and Its Benefits
Under common law, any child born during a marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband. Whenever there is a question of paternity, however, the mother, father or child can ask the court to get involved. In this case, the state or a private party would bring a lawsuit, with the person identified as the father of the child being termed the “putative father” in the ongoing paternity suit.
The putative father can either contest the action, or consent to a paternity judgment. To consent, he must sign an affidavit that establishes a legal relationship between the child and the father. Signing this form gives his consent for life, so it is extremely important to consult with an attorney before signing such a form. Courts can use DNA tests to prove whether a man is likely to be the father of a child or not.
There are several reasons why it could be important to establish paternity, including:
- Certain benefits. The child could be eligible for the true father’s medical and life insurance benefits, social security, inheritance, veterans’ benefits and more.
- Medical history. Doctors will have a better understanding of the father’s medical history, which could have an impact on the child’s own health.
- Identity. It can be extremely important for children to know, without a shadow of a doubt, who their biological father is.
- Having a father figure. Studies have shown that children with a father figure in their lives are more likely to perform well in school and avoid troublesome behavior.
For more information and guidance on how you can establish paternity in Long Island, meet with the experienced family law attorneys at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.