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Three Reasons It's Important to Establish Paternity

When a child is born to a single mother, only the mother is listed legally as a parent. That is, until the mother and father can legally establish paternity for its father. Legal paternity can have several benefits for all parties involved, including for the child themselves. Here are three extremely important and beneficial reasons why mothers, fathers, and children can benefit from establishing paternity

For Mothers: Child Support

When legal paternity is established, a mother can then request child support from the father to ensure the child is adequately cared for. Both parents have a responsibility to care for their child, and in the case of unmarried fathers, this can include financial backing of expenses related to raising the child. It’s a common misconception that unmarried fathers don’t have to pay child support: any father, regardless of marital status, is required to help with raising their child. This way single mothers can make sure they have the money they need to care for themselves and for their young children.

For Fathers: Visitation Rights

Fathers who legally establish their paternity have the ability to request visitation with their child and continually be involved with their upbringing. This means that fathers will be able to legally ensure they are able to be a part of their child’s life and provide them with the care and upbringing they can provide. Visitation isn’t always straightforward and many couples need to work out an ideal visitation schedule based on the needs of each child and what they are capable of providing, however a mother can’t legally deny an established father his right to be involved with his children unless the court has granted her the ability to do so (which is exceedingly rare).

For the Child: Access to Medical History & Coverage

The child also benefits from having their father legally established as soon as possible. For starters, children who know their biological father can also gain access to their medical history and determine if they are predisposed to any potentially damaging or harmful conditions. Knowing this medical history will help a child manage their health all throughout their life. Furthermore, a child with legal paternity is far more likely to be able to maintain health insurance coverage throughout their childhood from either one or both parents.

Let an Illinois family law attorney from Wakenight & Associates, P.C. help you legally establish paternity of your child. Call (888) 351-2843 to request a case evaluation and get started.

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