In the 20th century, many families are non-traditional and do not have a husband and a wife. In the modern era, many children are born out of wedlock. This does not preclude individuals who are not married from pursing their rights to their children.
A Paternity Suit can either be filed by a mother, who is attempting to secure that a father provides both financial and emotional support on behalf of a child. Without an Adjudication of Paternity, the father is not obligated to support a child and has no duty to provide for this child. Many fathers disregard their parental responsibilities and need to be compelled through a lawsuit to provide for their children. There are many so-called “deadbeat dads” in this country who would not support their children, unless they are compelled to do so.
With modern technology, DNA testing can be conducted and a determination of the biological parent can be proven to an extremely high degree of medical probability. This testing is often expensive but becomes necessary when a father wants to know for certain that a child is his.
Fathers can also file paternity suits to establish and enforce their rights to children, Many times, a mother will and can deny a father his parental rights to timesharing with a minor child and shared parental responsibilities. When no adjudication of Paternity exists, the Natural Mother is the only parent with rights over the minor child. She has the ability to either allow or disallow a relationship with the non-adjudicated father. This makes it important for fathers to enforce their rights through a complaint to determine Paternity.
Once paternity is established a father can also request that the minor child’s last name be changed to his surname. This is not a guarantee, but on many occasions his last name can be given or a the very least the minor child can have a hyphenated last name which reflects both parents last names. Paternity is important to both enforce parents rights and responsibilities to children who are not born during a traditional marriage.