The official term for the state of being a child’s father is paternity. When two adults who did not get married have a child together and then split up, paternity testing will need to take place. Once paternity has been established, some aspects of family law cases can then be settled in court. Here’s what you should understand about paternity testing and why it’s critical in certain kinds of family law matters.
Reasons to Test Paternity
Here are some situations that would call for legally establishing paternity of a child:
A Child Support Request Has Been Filed
When a child’s mother breaks up with their father and needs financial support to care for the child, she must be able to confirm that the supposed father is physically related to her child.
This is especially true if the alleged father denies he is related to the child, because without an official paternity test, a court cannot compel someone to financially support a child. The state normally notifies the father listed in the application filled out by the mother that paternity testing will be need to be done.
A Child Custody Agreement Needs to Be Made
Proving genetic paternity is legally necessary if you wish to maintain a relationship with your child or have custody or visitation rights. The court cannot grant you these without adequate proof that you are the child’s natural parent.
Once paternity has been determined, you and the child’s mother need to begin discussing a co-parenting arrangement and visitation schedule that works for your child’s best interests. Where parents are unable to reach an agreement, a judge will step in to make the decision instead.
A Father Wants to Legally Establish Rights to His Child
If you are the biological father of a child, you might want to keep your parental rights so that you can be notified about and make decisions involving your child’s healthcare, education opportunities, and more.
Despite whether or not you have custody or limited visitation, this is valid. Once you’ve illustrated to the court that you have a legitimate paternity claim, a court can affirm your right to participate in making crucial decisions affecting your child’s fundamental well-being.
Erlina Perez: Your Separation & Divorce Source
Erlina Perez is a veteran New Jersey divorce and family lawyer who has the skills and connections to help advocate for your rights as a parent. Call today to get answers to your family legal questions at (201) 880-7070.Posted in : Child Support ,