Federal law requires states to allow a paternity action to be started any time before the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) or later depending upon state law.
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Money: Frequently, children supported by only one parent are poorer than children supported by both parents. They need child support. In order to get support, paternity must be legally established.
Medical: Your child needs to know if he or she has inherited any special health problems. Also, it might be possible to obtain medical insurance for your child through the father’s employer, union, or military service.
Security: Fathers who support their children when they are young are more likely to continue to pay support until they become adults. If you wait, the father may decide to deny paternity which could make your child feel unwanted or unloved.
Survivor's Benefits*: If the father dies, your child could qualify for a number of benefits, including Social Security, pensions, inheritance rights, veterans benefits, and life insurance.
*Unless legal paternity has been established, your child may not be able to claim these benefits from his or her father.
Usually a father will admit paternity when results of blood tests show he is the biological father of a child. If the father continues to believe he is not the father, he is entitled to a court hearing on the matter. At the hearing, a judge listens to both sides and looks at the test results.
The amount of your monthly child support payment is decided by the laws of the state in which you live. Child support orders require that the father provide financial support for his child until he or she becomes eighteen [(18) or older depending upon state law].