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Is establishing paternity really that important?

When you found out that your ex-girlfriend was pregnant, you didn't think much of it. You hadn't been together long, so you didn't think the child was yours. Months later, you thought that you might be wrong. After all, the timing just might make sense. You decide you want to find out if you're the father of the child. This is a great choice and something you can do with an easy DNA test.

If you're unmarried and want to have a connection to your child, it's of the utmost importance that you establish paternity as soon as possible. There are some people who may try to avoid establishing paternity because of the potential for child support that they don't believe they can afford, but by avoiding paternity verification, fathers lose out on the right to see their children.

The importance of being in your child's life can't be overstated. Children need their fathers and mothers in a balanced relationship. On top of this, by establishing paternity, you give your child the right to access your past medical history and life insurance benefits along with other benefits you may receive in life or after death.

If you don't take the time to establish paternity, you may end up limiting your relationship with your child. If the mother wishes to move, you have no legal way to stop her. If she wants to cut off contact, you can't do anything about that, either. It's your right to be in your child's life, but only if you claim that right in court. Your attorney can help you set up a test to see if you are a child's father.

Source: Fatherhood.gov, "The Importance of Establishing Paternity," accessed May 04, 2018

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