Determining the identity of a child’s biological father can be crucial for numerous personal and legal reasons, not the least of which is ensuring that the child receives the financial support they are entitled to under state law. However, there are also various reasons why someone might be opposed to confirming paternity either for themselves or for another person, any one of which could lead to a prolonged, complicated, and emotionally exhausting legal battle.
Whether you want to prove your parentage over a current or former partner’s child, prove someone else’s paternity for your own child, or contest any such proceeding, obtaining representation from a qualified father’s rights attorney should be a top priority before your case begins. A knowledgeable New Haven paternity lawyer can explain all your rights and obligations in this kind of situation and, once retained, work tenaciously to protect your best interests.
Under state law, both of a child’s parents have a responsibility to protect and financially provide for their child’s needs. Accordingly, one of the most essential obligations belonging to a child’s unmarried, biological father is the responsibility to pay child support in accordance with court directives until that child turns 18 or otherwise becomes emancipated.
However, these obligations cannot be imposed on parties whose parentage has not been confirmed. For this reason, a mother may petition the court to confirm the paternity of her child’s father. Alternatively, a man who is not the biological father to a child may need to refute his alleged parentage to avoid paying child support payments for someone else’s family.
Furthermore, while biological fathers have the right to pursue parental responsibilities such as custody and visitation time with their children, confirmed paternity does not automatically grant them these rights. Local family courts retain sole authority to establish custody arrangements that best protect the interests of the child in question, and such an order may deny custody to a child’s biological parent or place the child in the primary custody of a legal guardian or adoptive parent based on the circumstances.
Finally, proving a father’s paternity can also be key to granting his child the right to inherit assets and property from him after his passing. Without paternity established, a child may miss out on financial advantages in the future. A New Haven attorney could provide legal guidance and practical support throughout any kind of paternity proceedings.
Married men are presumed to be the biological fathers of children born in their marriage. If a child’s biological father is not named on their birth certificate when they are born, the simplest way of legally recognizing someone as their biological father is through an “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” This is a written document signed voluntarily by both the child’s mother and their presumptive biological father, indicating that they both agree the latter party is the child’s biological father and that they accept all parental rights and responsibilities.
Alternatively, the child’s mother or someone else who believes they themselves are the child’s biological father may petition the court for a paternity hearing. These hearings generally involve DNA testing of the child and their alleged father. In some situations, a court may independently order DNA testing to resolve issues related to a mother and child being dependent on means-tested public benefits.
Proving a father’s paternity in court can be complex. Assistance from legal counsel may be key to getting through this thorny and potentially contentious issue as smoothly and productively as possible.
Go over your options and rights in detail with a New Haven paternity lawyer during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.