A Paternity Action is the legal process where a court not only determines the legal father of a child, but also where a court establishes child support and a contact schedule for the parents.
Most paternity cases involve parents who had a child out of wedlock. Although a court can establish child support and time sharing, other issues often present in divorce cases are not available in a paternity action, such as support for the other parent (palimony) and distribution of assets.
Until a child's paternity has been legally established, a child's father has no legal right to have contact with his child(ren). Due to the possible consequences on time sharing and child support, unmarried parents should legally establish paternity as soon as possible after birth.
Questions about Paternity
Establishing paternity can be a complex task that has serious financial and other ramifications for the mother and/or the alleged father. Whenever paternity is disputed, it is advisable to consult with an experience family law attorney. Doing so ensures that the parties understand their rights and responsibilities should paternity be established.
A family law attorney can also advise the parties as to alternative ways that paternity can be established other than through a court order. Finally, the court can help set aside a previously entered paternity order in the event new evidence comes to light showing the legal father is not the biological father of the child.
Do you have questions about paternity, we are here to discuss your questions with you. Please call us at (407) 425-8878 to schedule your appointment.