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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family Law > Situations When Paternity Evidence Is Helpful

Situations When Paternity Evidence Is Helpful


Paternity disputes are problematic and emotionally charged issues, but there are situations where pursuing evidence of paternity makes sense. This is because paternity can have a significant impact on child custody, child support, and inheritance rights.

If you believe proof of your child’s parentage would be helpful, talk to a Bucks County family attorney to explore the possibility of establishing paternity and accessing financial resources for your child.

Forms that Acknowledge Paternity

One of the many ways skilled legal counsel can help you is through explaining the differences between voluntary and involuntary paternity. Voluntary paternity occurs when a man acknowledges that he is the biological father of a child and signs forms documenting their parenthood. This can be done through a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity (VAP) form or through a court order. In Pennsylvania, a VAP form can be signed at the hospital when the child is born, or at a later date.

Typically, when a child is born to a married couple, paternity is assumed. But if the couple having a child are unwed, having the father sign a form that acknowledges their paternity is a way to legitimize the legal connections.

Outside of these situations, there can be genetic testing, which may be required if there is a dispute connected to paternity.

Child Support, Benefits, and Inheritance Rights

A primary reason to establish paternity is to determine child support obligations. In Pennsylvania and throughout the country, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their child. If the parents were never married, or if paternity has not been legally established, the father may not be mandated by a court to pay child support.

Establishing paternity can also help ensure that the child has access to health insurance, social security benefits, and other benefits that may be available through the father’s employment.

Proving paternity can also have significant implications for inheritance rights. In the state of Pennsylvania, for example, a child has a legal right to inherit from their biological parents. If paternity has not been legally established, the child may not have a legal right to inherit from their father’s estate.

Plus, paternity records can provide a child with a sense of identity and belonging, as well as access to important medical information.

Talk to a PA Attorney About Your Paternity Dispute

The process of establishing paternity can be complex, but a seasoned Bucks County family attorney can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Lawyers know how to navigate the emotional and legal complexities of a paternity dispute, and they can act as a neutral third party to help resolve conflicts and ensure that the best interests of the child are protected.

Are you wondering if the process of proving paternity could be a way to connect your child with the resources they need to thrive? Paternity can have significant implications for child custody, child support, and inheritance rights. Whether you’re seeking to establish paternity or challenge a paternity claim, it’s important to seek the help of an experienced Pennsylvania divorce lawyer.. Talk to the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Call 215-968-6602.

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