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What are the benefits of legally filing for paternity?

Establishing legal paternity is important because, above anything else, it creates more security under the law for the child in question. It's not just significant for estranged or legally divorced parents, but also for parents who are together but not married. This blog gives an overview of the benefits and rights for legal fathers.

What are the main financial benefits for the child?

Children with a legal father can benefit from his health and life insurance, as well as get inheritance rights. They may be also able to have access to pensions, social security, and any veterans' benefits that he has. When a child has two legal parents, they are both expected to provide financial support for that child. Therefore, a child is more likely to have their basic needs met when they have two legal parents.

What are the main social benefits?

It is very important to a child's identity as he or she grows to know and have a relationship with both of his or her parents. It gives them a sense of belonging and stability through their childhood if parenthood is managed well.

How can legal paternity be established?

Paternity is established automatically if both parents are married at the time of conception or birth. If parents are unmarried, it can be established voluntarily, or a family court can aid with DNA testing to establish paternity. You can complete the Affidavit of Parentage form here. Establishing legal paternity can be a complex process and it is important to seek legal guidance if you have any questions about your case.

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, "Paternity Establishment," accessed July 13, 2017

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