Paternity

There are several issues that are directly related to establishing paternity in cases of Family Law. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding paternity and how it relates to Family Law issues.

WHY IS ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IMPORTANT?
Identity: It is important for all of us to know who we are and children have the right to know both parents.
Medical: Children may benefit by knowing their medical history, as children sometimes inherit health problems that can be treated better if the doctor knows both parents’ medical histories.
Support: Children have the right to be supported by both parents.
Benefits: Acknowledged children may also have the right to other benefits, including Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, and medical insurance.
Inheritance: Children should have the right to inherit from both parents.
HOW IS PATERNITY ESTABLISHED?
Paternity is established by signing a formal act of acknowledgment of paternity or by a court determining who is the biological father through a court ordered DNA test.

WHAT DOES ACKNOWLEDGING PATERNITY MEAN?
Acknowledging paternity is a way to establish who the biological father is when the parents are not married to each other.

CAN A PARTY CANCEL AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT?
An authentic act of acknowledgment may be canceled without cause under the following conditions (whichever comes first): A person who signed an acknowledgment may ask the court to cancel the acknowledgment upon proof of fraud, duress, material mistake of fact or error, or that the person is not the biological parent of the child. An acknowledgment cannot be canceled without a court hearing.

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