Paternity matters are emotional for all parties involved. A man who thinks he is a child’s father may discover he is not. A mother requesting child support from her child’s father may encounter an objection from him regarding the child’s paternity.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is vital for the parties involved in a paternity action to seek an experienced fathers’ rights attorney to represent them. Sound legal advice from a dedicated Guilford paternity lawyer can help ensure you do what is best to reach a favorable outcome.
Under state law, not just anyone can request paternity testing. A mother always has the right to seek a paternity determination and request a DNA test. A man identified as a child’s father can also request genetic testing, whether he wants to establish himself as the father or dispute paternity.
Additionally, if a mother receives financial assistance from the state, the attorney general can file for a paternity determination to get the mother child support from the father. The alleged father can then ask for a DNA test—however, the petitioner must pay for the test unless a court waives the fee.
A seasoned attorney in Guilford can determine whether a party has the standing to request genetic testing in a pending paternity lawsuit. If a judge orders genetic testing under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-168, the results are admissible as evidence to exclude the alleged father or conclusively establish his paternity. If a party objects to the admission of the test results, they must do so in writing no later than 20 days before the paternity hearing.
Under Connecticut law, the husband is presumed the child’s legal father when a married couple has a child. However, when unmarried parents have a child, the father must prove his legal relationship to the child unless he was otherwise listed on the child’s birth certificate. Where the father is not listed on the birth certificate, if the parties agree on the father’s identity, they can sign an acknowledgment of paternity and file same with the Department of Social Services.
The state can also seek an Administrative Paternity Order if a mother files for financial assistance, and request genetic testing on her behalf. If the test conclusively establishes the man as the father, the state will likely seek child support from him.
A party can also seek to establish paternity by obtaining a court paternity order. Unless a party objects, a judge typically admits the genetic test results into evidence and hears testimony from any party regarding the child’s paternity. Contested paternity actions in Guilford can be contentious and legally complex, so a person facing a proceeding is well-advised to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.
A paternity determination does not guarantee a father custodial rights or court-ordered time with his child, nor does the payment of child support guarantee that a father will have custody or visitation rights. To solidify his rights after paternity is established, a father must petition the court for custody or access, typically with the assistance of an attorney experienced in paternity cases.
Family court judges prefer to order custodial arrangements that enable the child to spend substantial time with both parents when both parents are capable caregivers. Therefore, a judge determines if it is in the child’s best interests to be in the father’s custody or visit with him according to a parenting plan.
Establishing a father’s legal identity is vital for many reasons. The child can obtain their entire medical history, a father can pursue custody or visitation, and a mother can request child support if she remains the primary custodian. Additionally, a man who is not the father can pursue a paternity case to avoid an unwarranted child support obligation.
If you are involved in a paternity proceeding, a skilled Guilford paternity lawyer can work tirelessly to protect your legal rights. Call the office today to discuss your circumstances.