If you want legal rights to your children, you must establish paternity. Paternity establishes that you are the legal father of your children. Depending on the circumstances, establishing paternity can be an emotional process. Some men want to assert their parental rights as the father of a child, while others want to dispute the allegation that they are the father of a child they do not believe they fathered. Whatever your circumstances, the attorneys at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm are with you every step of the way.
Establishing legal paternity can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Below are a few ways we may be able establish you are the legal father of a child:
- Marriage. If you are married when the mother gives birth to the child, it is assumed you are the legal father of the child, unless established otherwise. In other words, a husband can seek timeshare with the child if the couple gets a divorce, unless paternity is disproved.
- Acknowledgement. If you were not married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, but you agree about paternity, you can sign a legal document verifying you are the father of the child.
- Legitimacy. If the mother and natural father are not married at the time the child is born, but get married thereafter and update the child’s official birth record to note the name of the father, paternity is established.
- Genetic testing. If genetic testing is conducted and proves fatherhood, an administrative order is entered establishing paternity.
- Court order. If paternity is disputed and a lawsuit is filed, a judge can issue a judgment of paternity.
Paternity must be established before child custody, visitation, or child support matters can be decided.
For help in establishing paternity or fighting an erroneous allegation of paternity, call the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule an appointment.