Unfortunately, there is no set timetable for paternity establishment. Turnaround times will vary from state to state. More importantly, Turnaround times will depend upon when and how you establish paternity. In other words, The relationship with the mother of the child will affect how long this process may take. Below are some ways paternity can be established.
1. Paternity is established automatically when a man is married.
2. Signing an acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital or at child services office. This option pertains to unmarried men. Timetable (a few weeks) which varies from state to state.
3. Not responding to a court order. A default judgment automatically deems you the legal father of a child.
4. Filing a paternity petition. This option may have the longest turnaround time because the mother or guardian of the child may be difficult. Turnaround times vary. It can take weeks, months or years based on your relationship with the mother.
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The importance of establishing paternity is probably one of the most important things that could happen in a child’s life. It is important for the child to know who he or she is. The knowledge of oneself and where they come from allows a child to develop into a more complete person.
It is also important for a child to know who their father is in the event the child has health issues. The biological father may be able to help save his child’s life.
Establishing paternity also will allow the child to benefit through financial and well as emotional support. This goes back to helping the child find his or her self and to develop into a functional member of society as stated earlier.
Currently, We are unaware of any specific set timeframe for paternity establishment as stated earlier. Each situation is different. Some fathers may want to wait a few days, months or even years to establish paternity. It is important to remember paternity can be established for adult children as well but in the most instance, there are no financial benefits for a child legally after a certain age.
When a child is born out of wedlock. The custodial parent is automatically the mother of the child. There are other scenarios that may occur in which close related family members of the mother, adopted parents or, the biological father may have custody of the child if the parents are unwed.