The issue of establishing paternity is a common one. Many birth parents in Kentucky and across the country struggle with the issue of establishing paternity, including questions about if they should do it and how establishing paternity can be accomplished. In a best-case scenario, a father will voluntarily acknowledge his children. In other situations, it will take court intervention to establish paternity.
Establishing paternity has some legal benefits for the children. First, paternity allows a child to benefit financially from his or her father. This doesn't just include child support. A child may have a claim to death benefits if his or her father were to pass away, which can include everything from veteran's benefits to an inheritance. Failing to establish paternity could lead to a child failing to receive these benefits. Paternity also gives a child access to his or her father's medical history, which may provide him or her with an understanding of any potential genetic issues that may arise in the future.
If a father doesn't establish paternity voluntarily, a court can require genetic testing of all parties. Once the DNA testing is complete, the results will be compared to determine if the person is the child's father. If the testing is conclusive, the father has 60 days to contest the results in court. If the father fails to contest the results, the court will recognize him as the birth father.
Parents who are either seeking custody or to establish paternity are encouraged to discuss their case with an experienced divorce lawyer. An attorney may be able to help explain the process and provide guidance in helping a parent establish the paternity of his or her child. This process may take some time, but an experienced lawyer may be able to help make the process as efficient as possible.