Elite Lawyer

Paternity Attorney Overview

Elite Parentage / Paternity Attorney

Lawyer Assistance With Parentage Matters

When a child is born to parents that are married, the husband of the child's mother is legally presumed to be the child's father. However, when parents are unmarried, or when the identity of a child's father is uncertain, steps may need to be taken to legally establish paternity.

In matters related to paternity (also known as parentage), it is important to work with a family law attorney who is experienced in applicable state laws. A skilled lawyer can help meet the requirements for establishing paternity, ensuring that the rights of mothers, fathers, and children are protected.

Establishing Paternity

While each state has its own laws regarding parentage, paternity is typically established in one of the following ways:

  • The mother and father voluntarily acknowledge the child's paternity, usually by filling out and filing a form with state authorities. Many hospitals and child services agencies provide assistance with completing and filing these forms.
  • A party uses legal procedures to determine whether an alleged father is the child's biological father. A paternity suit can be brought by the mother, the father, the child, the legal guardian of the child, or the state. DNA testing will often be used to determine paternity, providing a high degree of certainty about the biological relationship between the child and father.

Once paternity has been established, the father will have certain rights and obligations regarding their child. They will typically be required to pay child support that will help to provide for a child's day to day needs, including food, clothing, and shelter. Fathers may also be able to assert their rights to child custody and visitation, giving them a say in how their child is raised and ensuring that they will have an ongoing relationship with their child. Children will also have the right to inherit property from their father, and they may be eligible for coverage under a father's health insurance plan or to receive Social Security or wrongful death benefits.

Establishing paternity can ensure that a child will have the support they need from both parents. If you are a mother, father, or other family member who needs to establish a child's legal parentage, it is essential to work with a family lawyer who understands the laws and procedures of your state. An experienced attorney can ensure that your rights are protected, help you meet your legal requirements, and represent you in court, allowing you to establish the legal relationship that protects your child's best interests.

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