Paternity means having a legally recognized father. Establishing paternity is very important in family law cases and can be a huge benefit to both the father and the child. For example, establishing paternity can prevent the mother from giving the child up for adoption without the father’s consent, it can help secure financial support for the child in the form of child support, and it can help a father get custody or visitation with his child. Establishing paternity can also ensure that the child receives inheritance or social security benefits from their father. There are several ways to establish paternity, and they are all discussed below. But first, we need to talk about the different types of fathers.
What Makes a Father?
There are different types of fathers under the law. If a child is born to a married couple, the husband at the time of the child’s birth is called the “legal father.” This means that the child is legally recognized as the child of that man in the eyes of the law. This has nothing to do with whether that man is actually the biological father of the child, it only matters that the man was married to the mother of the child at the time of the child’s birth. For example, if a married woman gets pregnant as a result of an affair, her husband is recognized as the father of that child under the law until proven otherwise.