Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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Establishing paternity can affect your legal rights

Something not everyone realizes about paternity is that if a child's parents are unmarried when that child is born, the father is not given legal rights as a parent automatically, even if there is no doubt that he is the child's father. In such a situation, the father may prove his paternity by means of a test before these rights can be granted.

We saw in a previous post some of the factors affecting child support in South Carolina. Paternity can also be an important element in this, as a father's obligation to pay support to his child hinges on whether he is legally considered to be that child's father. However, it is not only the father who has the right to request a paternity test.

Tests can be called for by the child's birth mother or biological mother, a person who claims to be the father of the child, certain government agencies, individuals in whose care the child resides, or even the child itself. However, paternity actions may be contested in court.

The benefit of establishing paternity is not only that the father has legal rights to the child and can be called upon for child support. It also means the child's medical background is more complete which can be particularly important if there is any history of illness in the family.

Establishing paternity can have a significant effect on your child's well-being and future, so it is a decision that requires careful consideration. If you have any questions about your rights as a father or how to handle paternity actions, our page on paternity might have some of the information you need.

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