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What are the main reasons to establish parentage of a child?

Establishing parentage is exactly what you would expect. This means that you sign an official Declaration of Paternity or obtain a court order that outlines who the legal parents are.

It's important to understand the reasons to establish parentage, such as the fact that the child has the benefit of knowing for sure who both their parents are. Along with this, there are many legal rights that get passed along to the child, such as:

  • Financial support from both their mother and father
  • Legal documentation
  • Access to family history and medical records
  • Both parents' names on their birth certificate
  • The ability to receive medical insurance coverage from either parent
  • The opportunity to receive an inheritance from both parents
  • The right to receive veteran's benefits and/or Social Security, if applicable

Also, once parentage is established, it's possible for the court to make orders regarding child custody, visitation for the non-custodial parent, child support, health insurance and the reimbursement of birth- and pregnancy-related expenses. It's important to note that the court cannot make these types of orders until parentage is established.

These are just some of the many reasons to establish parentage of a child. So, if you've yet to take this step and realize that it's important to both you and your child, don't wait another day to learn more about the process for doing so.

Once you establish parentage, you can then focus on the specific ways it will impact the life of you and your child. You may come to find that this alters your approach to parenting, personal life and finances in many ways.

Source: California Courts, "Parentage/Paternity," accessed May 18, 2018

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