Paternity is an action taken by a parent who wants to establish the parenting rights of the father. These rights include joint decision-making for major decisions regarding the child, timesharing with the child and payment of child support. Having paternity determined early on in a child’s life is best, even if both parties get along and may even be living together. It protects the father’s rights and prevents a child being moved out of state without the father’s or court’s permission. If a father of a child is paying support to the mother without an order, it is important to document such payments through canceled checks, copies of money orders, or signed receipts by the party receiving the support in cash. Since a court can retroactively award support, this documentation will provide credit against arrearages due to such retroactivity. If you are ready to assert your rights as the father of your child born out of wedlock, or you are wanting to legally establish the paternity of your child, contact All Life Legal, P.A. today for a free initial consult.