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The Basics of Pennsylvania Paternity Law

By Sheryl Rentz on January 18, 2012

Paternity is defined as the state or quality of being a father, and any Pennsylvania resident who wants to establish paternity can do so in a very simple, reliable way. A person who wants to establish paternity can be either be a mother, a father, or even the child, depending on what a party may want to achieve from the paternity testing. In order to establish paternity, DNA testing is most common and can include a SWAB test, DNA Genetic Identity, or a blood test. DNA testing centers are typically affordable and are easy to locate, so paternity matters are usually settled before a trial.

There are a number of reasons why an individual may want to establish paternity, such as:

  • Identity: To provide a child with a needed identity.
  • Support: To receive financial support, such as child support, from the man determined to be the father.
  • Benefits: When paternity is established, it allows for a child to be covered by various benefits, such as health insurance or social security.
  • Public Assistance: Parties can seek public assistance if they qualify when paternity is established.
  • Health: To understand the health history of both the mother and father for proper medical care and treatment for the child.

A person who wants to establish paternity can do so through a paternity court proceeding or a voluntary acknowledgement of parentage or paternity. The latter is an affidavit signed by both mother and father when the father agrees that he is the legal parent. Paternity proceedings can be filed by the alleged father, mother, child, or child support division of the state, and paternity testing can, in most states, be ordered by the court. In general, if the test is negative it is typically paid for by the mother, or if positive, the father will pay for the testing; however, parties can also make an agreement on how to pay for the testing.

There are a number of important reasons an individual may want to establish paternity, so in order to get the results you want in an uncomplicated and stress-free way, an experienced Pennsylvania paternity attorney can help you every step of the way and sort out any legal issues that may arise. Sheryl R. Rentz has extensive experience helping those with paternity issues arrive at a satisfactory resolution for all parties involved. For a free consultation, call (610) 645-0100.

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