Many circumstances require a father to take legal steps to establish his biological relationship to his children. When you need to assert paternity, are facing challenges from another man who claims to be the biological father of your children, or have been served with a paternity suit, your next call should be to an experienced attorney. A Milford paternity lawyer can walk you through any proceedings, help you understand your best legal options, and safeguard your rights at each step.
In Connecticut, the need to establish paternity can arise in several ways. Most commonly, unmarried parents of a child—even when they agree on the parentage—must formally establish paternity since the law does not presume it unless the parents are legally married.
Other situations can require legal steps to establish paternity, and retaining a skilled Milford attorney can be indispensable in such matters. Several people can start a paternity case. For example, a married couple is expecting a child, but one or both spouses suspect the husband is not the father. A child is born to parents who are no longer together, and the father wants to assert his legal rights to remain in the child’s life. A mother seeks to assert her child’s right to have access to their biological father or to receive financial support.
The most straightforward way to establish paternity is for the father to sign an acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital where the child is born or at a nearby office location for the Department of Public Health or Social Services. However, when paternity is contested, or there is difficulty locating the biological father, there may be no choice but to initiate a paternity suit, upon which the father formally establishes paternity through DNA testing.
Once paternity is established, this legal recognition can afford a number of rights and necessitate a range of obligations. For example, establishing paternity can give the father the right to seek joint or sole legal or physical custody or visitation time with his child; and the court may order the father to pay child support to ensure the child’s ongoing care and well-being.
None of these rights or responsibilities are automatic after the establishment of paternity. An attorney in Milford can guide a parent through all stages of the process following legal recognition of paternity, from seeking visitation rights and pursuing custody arrangements to requesting child support.
A wide range of scenarios can lead to retaining the services of a skilled Milford paternity lawyer. Even if you find yourself in an amicable situation, when it comes to establishing rights and obligations associated with paternity, whether that be child support, child custody, or visitation, you should not try to do so without the help of an accomplished attorney experienced in these complex legal matters.
An attorney can help you understand what is at stake and pursue the most advantageous resolution. Contact our office today to arrange your confidential legal consultation.