Before a parent can request child support, they must establish paternity. There are several options to do this.
Process for establishing paternity
If both parents agree on paternity, they can complete a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form at the hospital when the child is born or later through the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
If there is a dispute about paternity, it can be established through a court order. The court may order the proposed father to complete genetic testing to confirm that he is biologically related to the child.
Benefits for the child
Once paternity is determined, the father is responsible for paying child support. The parent seeking child support will need to complete an application, which requires information about each parent, including their income. The application may also request the child’s birth certificate.
Child support provides for the child’s needs, like clothing, housing, medical bills and their education. There are also other benefits for the child. The child may have a right to certain benefits like Social Security and the right to inherit from their biological father. Also, it may help support the child’s knowledge of family health conditions or other traits.
If the parents’ circumstances change in the future, such as an increase or decrease in income, a new job or a job loss, or the child’s needs change, they can request a child support modification from the court.
The father also has the right to pursue custody or visitation with the child, which can support the emotional bond between the two.