Establishing the paternity of a baby or child can have several benefits, though it is not always clear when it is necessary. If you are a parent, potential parent or another interested party, you may want to pursue a paternity action.
You are a mother and want to collect child support
You must establish paternity before the courts can order a father to pay child support.
If parents are married, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father. Alternatively, a father could voluntarily acknowledge paternity, or parties may need genetic testing to confirm a biological relationship. Whatever the case may be, establishing paternity through one of these avenues will be necessary if you wish to obtain a child support order.
You want to establish your parental rights
Paternity actions are also crucial if you are seeking custody or visitation rights. Even if you were in a committed, unmarried relationship when a child was born or have no doubts about your biological connection to a child, there is no guarantee that you will have parental rights. Without a paternity test or order naming you as the father, you may have no right to spend time with or make decisions for a child.
Keep in mind that you must file a paternity complaint within four years of a child’s birth in Nebraska. Filing a paternity action after that point can require legal guidance.
Your child needs or wants information about their background
Even if you are not worried about legal rights or money, establishing paternity can still be necessary.
For instance, our genetic information plays a critical role in our medical care and treatment options for serious conditions. Having a complete genetic picture for a child can provide invaluable information that improves a child’s healthcare-related needs.
Additionally, knowing where we come from can be important for understanding our culture and ancestry. Identifying a child’s biological father can provide a child with insights into their family history and background, without which they might feel like something is missing in their life.
Establishing paternity can be crucial, whether your motivations are financial, legal or personal. Whatever your reasons, filing a paternity action can help you get the answers you need.