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Estabblishing paternity - the key to child custody

  1. Establishing paternity 

Establishing paternity is the legal process of determining who a child’s father is companies with his paternity rights and duties toward his child.  The determination of paternity is important not only in moral terms but also in performing rights of child custody, nourishing support, inheritance, and other moral rights.

The paternity will be automatically recognized when the child is born during the marriage period.

However, if a child is born during the period that a couple of man and woman live together as husband and wife without any legal marriage registration, the paternity will be determined on the basis of a competent authority’s judgment and recognition.

 

  1. Benefits of establishing the paternity 

Establishing the paternity is the very first step to allow a father to perform his rights and duties toward his children.  Accordingly, if the paternity is not established and recognized, there is no personal relationship between the father and the child.  This means the father loses his custody of the children, his right to represent his children in transactions allowed by law, and other rights related to property and inheritance.

When the paternity is recognized by law, the father is obligated to take care of and nurture the children with his love.  Besides, the father has the right to represent his children in their personal and property matters when the children are still minors or have lost their civil act capacity.

 

  1. How is the paternity established?

The establishment of the paternity depends on a case by case basis whereby the competent authority resolving the case is also different.

If there is no dispute over the paternity between the parent, determining who a child’s father belongs to a competent administrative agency of civil status registration.

However, the jurisdiction belongs to a competent court in case of dispute or if the person who would be recognized as the father, the mother or the child of the involved person is dead.  The decision of the Court will be sent to the competent administrative agency of civil status registration to record changes to the civil status of the involved person in accordance with the law.

 

Thus, in order to have the custody of a child, the father must prove his paternity of such child.  In other words, in all circumstances, establishing the paternity is a prerequisite in order for having the custody of a child in accordance with the law.