Family Law Lawyer
One of the most troubling problems in all of family law involves the numerous difficulties that are created when a child is only raised by a single mother. Single mothers work tirelessly to provide for their children, both as the motherly figure in their household, as well as the family’s only breadwinner. These problems cannot be solved but can be helped, by determining the paternity of the child and making sure that this man stays in the picture to support his family.
Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. When a father disappears so soon after conceiving his child, it is often difficult to track him down and make him contribute to his child’s welfare. That is why it is sometimes crucial to take the initiative and use your state’s paternity law to prove that he is the child’s father.
Involuntarily Proving Paternity
Proving that someone else is the father of your child is a more difficult process than when he comes forward and voluntarily acknowledges his own paternity. However, it is possible to do. If you are unmarried, and the father of your child has not come forward and voluntarily acknowledged his paternity of your child, then you can go to court, and ask the judge there to enter an Order of Paternity. An experienced family law lawyer can help.
Court Order Establishing Paternity
Going to court to have a judge issue an Order of Paternity is a complex process. If you file everything correctly and serve the person you think is your child’s father, you will get a hearing with the judge. If at this hearing, the man you think is the father denies that he is your child’s father, then the judge will often require him to get a DNA test to resolve the issue. This DNA test will be used as evidence that he either is or is not the father of your child.
If the DNA test reveals that he is the child’s father, then the court will give him legal paternity of your child, which gives him certain rights and responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is that he provides financial support for his child, to help in his or her upbringing. This financial support can make a huge difference in your ability to better care for your child.
Depending on other issues that may come up once paternity is proven, the biological father may decide he does want to do more than just pay child support and be a part of the child’s life. Under the law, he would have parental rights, including parenting time and potential decision-making authority. The father could even gain the right to make medical and legal decisions for the child. For example, if the child should be injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, there is the potential right of the father to file a personal injury lawsuit against that party on behalf of the child. This is another reason why it is critical to have a family law lawyer advocating for you and your child during this process.
Thank you to our friends at Robinson & Hadeed for the information about proving involuntarily paternity and the steps a mother should take.