A child’s parents are expected to provide their offspring with a certain level of care. However, in circumstances in which one parent, usually the father, is not an active part of their child’s life, they may be unwilling to provide the support necessary to ensure that their child receives a reasonable standard of living. It is for this reason that some mothers pursue paternity actions against absentee fathers.
Paternity actions serve to establish conclusively that an individual is a child’s father and that he has a legal obligation to provide appropriate support for the upbringing of his child. Bringing a paternity suit can help to ensure that the mother has the resources necessary to provide her child with the care he or she deserves.
In order to be able to receive the financial benefits that a successful paternity action can provide, however, the mother must be able to demonstrate that the named individual is, in fact, the child’s father. This is usually accomplished through a paternity test. Additionally, it is necessary to bring this action before the statute of limitations runs out. If a paternity action is brought after the statute of limitations has passed, the mother has no legal right to pursue compensation.