Establishing paternity not only helps to identify who a child’s father is when his or her parents are unmarried, but it also “gives the child the same rights and benefits as those of a child whose parents are married” [Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)]. The MDHHS has identified several benefits to establishing paternity many of which we are discussing below that may be able to help you decide whether now is the time to contact a MI family law attorney who can help you initiate the process.
Why should a parent consider establishing paternity?
If you haven’t identified your child’s birth father, here are a few reasons why you might consider doing so now.
- Help your child find their identity. Children who are older and have an understanding of family dynamics might feel insecure or uncertain of who they truly are without knowing who both of their parents are. A child may find it hard to identify with a certain culture until they know who it is they actually came from.
- Help your child build family ties. Even if you never plan on rekindling old flames with your child’s father, identifying who this person is for your child’s sake gives them the opportunity to build a relationship with that person which in turn can “give [your] child a sense of belonging.”
- It gives you the opportunity to receive financial support. Caring for a child on your own is hard enough as the responsibilities of a parent never end, however, it can be even more stressful when you are struggling to make ends meet financially. When you establish paternity, you identify who your child’s other parent is which then allows you to request that they pay you child support. The fact is when a child has both parents contributing to him or her financially, they are likely to receive all the things they need (i.e. food, clothing, an adequate place to live, etc.).
- It opens your child up to receive certain benefits. After a child’s father is identified, it opens him or her up to receive the following benefits:
- Health and life insurance
- Social security
- Inheritance rights
- Veteran’ benefits
- It helps to identify medical history and potential health issues. Knowing the medical history of your child’s father allows you to identify any health issues that could potentially be passed down. This, in turn, could help you to identify any signs of these health issues in your child and address them before they worsen.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of establishing paternity and why it might be a good idea for you to follow through with the process, contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. today at 517-487-6603. Lansing, MI family law lawyer Stuart R. Shafer would be happy to review with you how establishing paternity will help your current circumstances along with the process you must follow to get it done. In the event you do establish paternity and are looking to recover child support from your child’s father, our firm can assist you with doing so as well.
You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906