When a father is working toward establishing custody of his child, the most useful tool he can utilize is a paternity test.
But what is it and what benefits will establishing paternity provide?
A paternity test is basically a DNA test that proves the identity of the child. Instead of a blood sample, a swab of the inside of an individual's check is all that is needed to conduct the test. The sample is sealed and taken to a lab for testing.
Once paternity is established and an individual is identified as the father, his rights are established. He now has the ability to obtain a child support order, visitation or custody rights of the child and the right to make legal decisions regarding the child's life and upbringing.
The child's rights
Along with establishing father's rights, paternity also establishes rights for the child. Paternity rights of the child include but are not limited to the right to receive medical history and other pertinent information from the father as well as the right to receive inheritances, military allowances, social security, or veteran's benefits.
It typically takes up to three weeks for the paternity test results to return to the mother and alleged father by mail. Both the mother and the alleged father will receive a copy of these results no matter if they're negative or positive.
Because paternity is a complex issue, seeking legal representation to help with the procedures both before and after is advised. A lawyer can help answer any pressing questions about the process and provide overall support.