Carrollton Paternity Lawyer
Helping Clients Establish or Challenge Paternity
When a married couple has a child, the spouses are presumed to the child’s parents. However, when unmarried individuals have children, the biological father is not legally considered the father without establishing his paternity. A child born to unmarried parents is the sole physical and legal responsibility of the mother, with the mother retaining all parental rights and sole legal custody of the child unless paternity is established.
Therefore, the mother has complete discretion to make all important decisions for the child, has the right to keep the child with her, and can legally determine if and when the biological father can see the child. The biological father has no rights or responsibilities to the child, including financial and medical, unless paternity is established. If a father wishes to have parental rights to the child, he must establish paternity and request custody.
How to Determine Paternity
Some of the most common ways unmarried parents can acknowledge paternity are by:
- Blood and DNA testing.
- Both parents sign an “acknowledgement of parenthood” or “declaration of paternity” on a state-approved form, in front of a witness.
- A man cares for the child as his own, provides financial support, and more for a period of time.
- The father and the mother write the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate.
Paternity suits in court are initiated for a number of reasons. If you are a mother looking to obtain child support and secure medical benefits for your child, we can assist you. If you are a mother looking to gain social security, pension, retirement benefits, veterans’ benefits, or inheritance rights for your child, we can assist you. If you are a father looking to establish yourself as the legal parent eligible for custody and visitation rights, we can assist you.
Rights and Responsibilities of Paternity
Once paternity is established and confirmed, the child becomes the responsibility of both the mother and the legal father, and the father’s rights to the child are established. Visitation, child support, and custody are all matters that must be resolved and the attorneys at Malik & Associates, PLLC can assist you with the terms of these agreements.
Your Legal Guides to Contesting Paternity
If paternity is doubted, the mother or father may contest paternity by petitioning the court for a paternity determination. DNA testing has made this process much easier, requiring genetic samples from the mother, father and child be sent to a laboratory for genetic testing. The paternity lawyers at Malik & Associates PLLC can help you through the contesting process.
Why is Paternity Important?
Determining paternity is important for many reasons. Financial support for the child becomes the responsibility of both parents once paternity is established. Both the mother and father will be responsible for a fair portion of any expenses related to the child’s life and medical care, among other things.
Determining paternity is vitally important for obtaining a complete health and medical history for the child. Once paternity is established, the child will have access to the father’s family medical history, which will be essential for detecting any genetic health issues or if the child needs a blood transfusion or organ transplant.
Finally, determining paternity provides children with a whole picture of themselves and their heritage, which has a crucial psychological and emotional benefit, as they are able to have relationships with both the mother’s and father’s family members.
Need Professional Help? Talk to an Attorney Today
If you need high quality legal services regarding establishing or contesting paternity, contact an experienced attorney at Malik & Associates, PLLC, right away.