The legal acknowledgment of a parental relationship between a father and his child is called paternity. A child born to a wife during a marriage is legally presumed to be the husband's child, but this presumption can be rebutted with evidence to the contrary. A determination of paternity for fathers can be established through voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, a court petition, or scientific evidence, such a DNA testing. When you establish paternity, you identify the legal father of the child. Paternity gives rights and benefits to the mother, the father and the child.
Paternity gives both parents the legal right to get child support, get a court order for visitation or custody and have a say in legal decisions about the child. Paternity usually gives the child the father’s name on a birth certificate, information on family medical history, support from both parents, Social Security or veteran's benefits, military allowances and inheritances. Determining paternity can be accomplished by both parties agreeing and signing a form that the child is theirs.
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