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Paternity proceedings are the process of identifying and establishing a child’s legal father. Typically, one or both parents must petition to have a father officially recognized anytime a child is born out of wedlock. Parents can file a joint acknowledgment of paternity or request a court legally identify a child’s father.
Whether you received an unexpected petition to establish fatherhood or need help obtaining child support, our Fairfield county paternity lawyers can advocate for your rights during parental proceedings. These sensitive issues often necessitate a family firm dedicated to the wellbeing of you and your children and we can apply our experience to handle complex cases other firms will not take.
The concept of family has changed over the past decade, but the state still adheres to traditional paternity laws. Only a birth mother’s lawful husband may sign a child’s birth certificate as the father without question. In all other cases, one or both parents must take legal action to add a father’s name to a child’s birth certificate. The state provides three options parents have for establishing fatherhood in the state.
After a lawyer prepares the proper affidavits and attachments, parents may file a joint petition to acknowledge paternity. This document permits presumptive fathers to sign their child’s birth certificate, affording them the same parental rights and obligations as birth mothers. If one or more parties refuse to acknowledge paternity, the mother or father could work with our seasoned lawyers to request judicial intervention.
Birth mothers may file a petition to confirm paternity any time before a child turns 18. The alleged father has the right to retain an attorney, request DNA testing, and has the opportunity to testify in the proceedings. If the court establishes fatherhood, a legal professional may help the mother receive up to three years of back support for the child’s care.
Men may file a similar petition as mothers can to establish their parental rights at any time during the child’s life. During these proceedings, the court must appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the minor child(ren) or young parent. If the court establishes paternity, the child’s legal father may then assume the same legal privileges and responsibilities as the child’s mother.
The law typically affords fit parents equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to shared children. Accordingly, parents usually request the state legally acknowledge fatherhood for the purpose of:
In some cases, state social services may file a petition to establish paternity to obtain financial support, place children with their fathers, or terminate parental rights. Same-sex couples generally have special adoption and joint paternity rights in the state but they should discuss this unique process with our experienced legal team. We could help parents respond to social services proceedings, submit an acknowledgment of paternity form, prepare adoption paperwork, or otherwise file a case to establish legal fatherhood in Fairfield County.
Children deserve to receive support from both parents. You have many options for establishing paternity and asserting your rights during putative father proceedings. In some cases, you might benefit from working with a neutral mediator to discuss the possibility of fatherhood, obtain a private DNA test, or potentially even avoiding litigation.
Our knowledgeable Fairfield County paternity lawyers can help mothers obtain needed child support, work with fathers to assert their parental rights, and protect a child’s best interest during family litigation. Contact us today to begin the process of establishing legal paternity today.