Are you a single mother who needs to establish who the child’s father is in order to have him help with child support? Or are you the father and concerned about your child’s welfare and would like to get custody?
The safe and healthy upbringing of your child is incredibly important to you. Unfortunately, your child’s safety and happiness can be put into jeopardy if his or her father isn’t helping financially. If you are in a situation in which you are left struggling to support your child without the help you are legally allowed, getting a paternity test may be the important first step toward securing your child’s future.
Paternity is the legal recognition (in court) of who the biological father of the child is. This legal relationship of father to the child also includes his responsibilities to that child.
It is important to establish paternity for several reasons, including:
- Being released from court-ordered child support for a child that you did not biologically father
- Obtaining child support
- Determining child custody in the parenting plan
- Obtaining a visitation schedule to involve a parent in the raising of a child
- Parental health history that affects the child
Paternity petitions can be filed by both men and women for various reasons, many of which involve child custody and support. Establishing paternity can be very helpful if you were never married to your child’s father and he has refused to make child support payments. As experienced lawyers, we can help you file a paternity petition and seek the financial support to which you are entitled.
Paternity Tests and Child Support
In many cases, getting a paternity test is the first step to securing the money your child needs. Child support is incredibly important to your child’s well-being, and we may be able to help you fight for the money your child deserves.
Child support money can be used for a variety of expenses associated with raising your child, including:
- Your child’s share of the rent or mortgage on your home
- Medical care
- Many additional day-to-day expenses
Our lawyers have also helped an increasing number of unmarried fathers achieve primary custody of their children due to problems in the mother’s home or with her ability to provide a safe and stable home for the child. We have represented many women wishing to establish the paternity of their children for the purpose of obtaining child support. Once we obtain an adjudication of paternity from the court, we can seek a court order which requires the father to pay child support. This can include past child support, as well as future payments.
For additional information about your rights in any paternity or child custody dispute between unmarried parents, contact us.