Ver en Español

Paternity Establishment

Paternity refers to the biological relationship between a child and a father, and unlike maternity which is established at birth, it is not always easy to tell who the real father of a child is.   In some situations the paternity of a father can be challenged, by either the mother or the father, and in these cases legal action may become necessary.   Paternity can affect such things as parentage, custody orders, visitation rights and financial obligations, so it is important to have representation from an experienced attorney until the matter is resolved.

Paternity tests are taken to determine who the biological father of a child is.   A DNA test will be ordered by the court in cases where paternity is contested; both parties and the child must participate in this test.   The results are almost indisputable, and a court will make a finding of paternity if a DNA test is positive.   If both parties agree as to biological parenthood, the court will not order the parties or child to undergo a DNA test.

Although paternity’s most important objective is to determine the true biological father of the child, it is also a relevant and necessary requirement before determining custody, visitation and child support obligations.  If you are not the biological father of a child, you will not be required to pay child support, and you will have no custody or visitation rights with the child.  If you are the father, you will be legally pronounced as such by the court, and will thereafter incur financial obligations to the child, BUT more happily, you will be able to obtain custody and visitation orders respecting your child, that you will then be able to exercise without control or interference from the other parent.

At the Law Office of Debra A. Smith, we provide exceptional representation to individuals involved in paternity actions.  Whether you are a mother who is wishing to establish paternity for the purpose of determining the true father of your child, and acquiring child support; or a father who is wishing to prove your biological relationship to a child to obtain custody and visitation rights, a lawyer from our firm can help you in this goal.

We have represented countless clients during paternity proceedings, and our firm can ensure your rights are protected while essentially advocating on your behalf child for both their legal and moral rights.

Next Topic >>> Property and Debt Division