Is it important that I establish paternity for my child(ren)?
Establishing paternity is necessary before the court can order child support. If the parents are not married at the point of a child’s conception, paternity is at issue.
Paternity can be established either by signing a Declaration of Paternity form, signing a paternity stipulation, or by filing a civil action (Summons and Complaint/Proposed Judgment) to establish paternity and a child support order. Blood tests may be requested to determine whether or not a man is the father of the child if a paternity judgment has not been issued previously (except under FC 7646(a)).
There are many excellent reasons for parents to legally establish the paternity of their child.
  • A man's name cannot appear on his child's birth certificate unless paternity has been established.
  • A child is entitled to financial support, including child support, social security benefits, veteran's benefits, military allowances, and inheritance, once paternity has been established.
  • A child may be entitled to health insurance through his/her father, as well as his/her mother, once paternity has been established.
  • A child deserves to know who both his/her parents are, including having access to their medical histories.
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