Paternity is a complex matter that affects not only the legal and custodial rights of the father, but also the ability of a mother to request child support. In most states, an unmarried father does not automatically have any parental rights or responsibilities over a child until paternity is established.
On the other hand, the husband of a woman is presumed the father of the wife’s children, by the law, unless alternate paternity is established. Because there are many methods and means to establish paternity, it is very important to have a Family Law attorney aid you through what can be a confusing process.
Among the methods that legally establish paternity are:
- Father’s Name on the Birth Certificate – If the father is present at the birth and signs the birth certificate, this may be considered acknowledgement of paternity.
- Attest to Paternity – A formal affidavit by the father attesting to his paternity and filed with the state agency that handles birth records can constitute establishment of paternity. It is very important to request the legal advice of a lawyer when drafting such an affidavit to meet the specific lega language requirements of your state.
- DNA Testing – DNA testing may establish paternity. A lawyer can help you access federal agencies that are required to make genetic testing available. To contest DNA testing, the presumptive father must raise more than a reasonable doubt that he is not the father if the DNA test is positive.
- Paternity Actions – If a biological father refuses to acknowledge paternity, a court action must usually be filed to legally establish paternity. A Family Law lawyer can help you file a paternity complaint with the appropriate court.
Whether you are a father who wishes to establish the right to visitation and/or custody of your child, or a mother who is seeking child support, it is important to settle the issue of paternity to the satisfaction of the law, as early as possible in the child’s life.
The Attorneys at The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC, are experienced Family Law Lawyers. They will use their extensive knowledge of state and federal law to ensure that your legal requirements are met so you can move on to the business of living your future with your child.
We welcome your call for an initial consultation. Contact us today.
The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC
Belletower Office Building
4700 Belleview, Suite 404
Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: (816) 531-6000
Fax: (816) 531-3939