Paternity Cases

Paternity cases are legal actions to determine the biological and legal father of a child. The biological father is the man who gave the child life, and the legal father is the person who has all of the rights and responsibilities associated with being a father. Establishing paternity is important for the child’s medical history, financial support of the child, and so that the child can know both of his or her parents. When there are any questions about paternity cases, the person should consult with an attorney immediately to ensure his or her rights are protected.
If the mother is married or widowed at the time the child is born, the husband is usually considered to be the legal father, although there are some exceptions. The husband is not the legal father if a court has entered an order naming someone else as the father or if the child’s mother and someone other than the husband have signed a voluntary hot topics in business law acknowledgment of paternity. If the mother is not married at the time of the child’s birth, the father can be established by both parents signing a voluntary acknowledgment. Additionally, a man can be declared the legal father by the court after a hearing or in a default order if the alleged father does not respond to court proceedings.
If the alleged father denies paternity, genetic testing will be ordered. This means that the mother, child and alleged father will have samples of their DNA taken and compared by a laboratory in order to determine whether the man is the biological father. If he is found to be the biological father, the court will declare him the legal father. Although the court decides who pays for the cost of testing, it is usually the alleged father; if he is contesting that he is the father.
Under state law, these types of cases may be filed at any time before the child is 21 years old. The age of the father is not considered relevant in these matters, and courts can order men of any age tested, even if the men are less than 18 or much older. It is illegal to knowingly put false information on a child’s birth certificate, so women should be careful when naming the father. Women who falsify records or evidence or provide false information to the court may be responsible for paying money damages to a man incorrectly found to be the biological father.
There is a lot on the line in these cases because the outcome will be used to establish who must pay child support and whether the man has rights to visitation or custody. This process also helps to protect the rights of children who deserve to be supported and know who their fathers are. These proceedings are the first step corporate lawyer for many fathers to establish a relationship with their child. When alleged fathers receive notices about paternity cases being filed against them, they should contact a lawyer immediately. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases will be able to protect the rights of men, mothers and children.

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