Paternity is about so much more than putting a father’s name on a child’s birth certificate. Family bonding, shared medical history, and financial support are just a few benefits a child gains when paternity is established.
Whether you are a mother seeking financial support or a father needing to legally establish your relationship with your child, a caring Stamford paternity lawyer can help. Our firm’s dedicated family attorneys understand the state’s laws and will guide you through the process.
There are generally four ways to establish paternity in family court.
If a child is born to married spouses, there is a presumption that the husband is the biological father. Any person challenging that presumption must disprove it with clear and convincing evidence.
Listing the father on the child’s birth certificate automatically conveys parental rights. Often times the process of filling out the birth certificate takes place at the hospital, and if the father is absent, the mother has the discretion to fill out the birth certificate. The father can go through court to seek to amend the birth certificate to list their name after the fact.
Additionally, when both parents agree on the biological father’s identity, they can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This form can be found at Judicial, Social Services, or Public Health Departments.
If a child is born to unmarried partners, and one party refuses to sign the acknowledgment of paternity, one party must file a paternity action. Notably, before a contested proceeding, a judge may order a DNA test. Under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-168, the genetic test results are generally admissible in court.
In a contested paternity proceeding, the moving party must meet specific evidentiary requirements to establish paternity. As this can prove to be a complex process, parties can benefit from seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney.
The mother, a man who believes he is the child’s father, or the child’s legal guardian has the standing to file a paternity action. Additionally, if the child is receiving state assistance, a representative of the public assistance program may also seek to establish paternity. In Connecticut, the attorney general’s office may file a paternity action where the child is receiving state assistance. The purpose is to ensure that both of the child’s biological parents are meeting their financial obligation for the child.
The individual or agency seeking to establish paternity has the burden of proving, either through testimony or DNA testing, that the individual names in the paternity action is the child’s biological parent. If an individual has questions about their eligibility to file a paternity claim, they should consult a dedicated attorney in Stamford right away. Failure to respond to or appear for a paternity case can result in a default ruling adjudging the individual as the parent, and making them responsible for costs associated with the paternity action, as well as an ongoing obligation to pay child support.
A paternity claim involves many important issues for the mother, alleged father, and the child. Some of these include:
Additionally, state law allows parents to revoke the affidavit of parentage within a certain time after signing it. If that happens, parents must be prepared to present their case to a family court or probate judge. A local lawyer is familiar with the issues that often arise in these claims and can explain a parent’s legal options.
Identifying a child’s father is vital for the parents and the child. A final paternity determination enables the mother to receive emotional and financial assistance from the father to help her care for their child. Additionally, the father can receive court-ordered custody or visitation to fully establish a parent-child relationship.
Regardless of the circumstances of your situation, you can benefit from the help of a seasoned Stamford paternity lawyer. A member of our caring team can explain your legal options and help you in each step of the paternity proceeding. Call our office today.