It is not actually that difficult to establish paternity, and there are many benefits to doing so. If you have questions about the process or why you need to deal with the paperwork, our Sparta, NJ children & parenting issues attorneys are ready to help you.
How is Paternity Established in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, paternity is often established at the time of the child’s birth. If the mother is married, her husband is determined to be the father. If she is unmarried and the father is at the hospital when the baby is born, he will be given the opportunity to sign onto the birth certificate. The biological father can also file a Certificate of Parentage at a later date, establishing paternity.
Things can get more complex if the husband is not actually the biological father. If the biological father wants parental rights, the husband would have to sign away his own parental rights. Otherwise, the state will continue to see him as the child’s father since he was married to the child’s mother.
What Should I Avoid When Establishing Paternity?
It is possible to make mistakes during this process, creating more issues and ensuring that there will be legal headaches to face in the future. Avoiding any of these common errors can help you make things less complicated:
Naming someone that you know is not the father: If you are the mother of the child, naming someone that you know is not the father as the biological father is a bad idea on a few levels. Even if you think this can result in better support for your child, this can easily cause problems later on.
Admitting paternity when you are not sure: If you are not actually sure if you are the father of a child, you should not sign anything related to paternity. There is nothing wrong with getting a DNA test and ensuring that you are the biological father before moving forward with this process.
Neglecting to establish paternity at all: Some fathers think that determining paternity is not worth the paperwork or that it does not really matter. It does matter though, and it can help you protect your rights.
Why Should I Establish Paternity?
Everyone benefits when paternity is officially settled. Mothers can ask for child support. Fathers can request visitation time and travel with their children. Perhaps most importantly, sons and daughters get to form an important bond with their fathers and their extended family.
Once paternity is established, a father can also:
- Access a child’s medical records
- Give children access to benefits, like health insurance
- Guarantee parental rights, like the right to visitation
- Name a child as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy
- Pass down other benefits, like social security or VA benefits
Schedule a Consultation With Our Team
If you still have questions or you are struggling to get a biological father to establish the paternity of your child, we may be able to help. Contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC and set up a consultation with our legal team today.