Establishing the father of a child is important for parents and children alike. Not only does determining fatherhood provide a parent with certain legal rights and responsibilities, but it could also greatly benefit the child as well.
If you are a father seeking certain rights or a mother ready to hold the father of your child accountable, a paternity action might be right for you. With the help of our compassionate family law attorneys, you could navigate this process smoothly and without delay. Relying on the guidance of a Maplewood paternity lawyer could have major benefits for you and your family throughout this process.
There are multiple ways to establish parentage in New Jersey. For married couples, the law presumes the husband is the father. In cases where a couple is not married, a voluntary agreement or legal action could be required to establish paternity. A fatherhood rights attorney in Maplewood could assist in any of these situations.
Married couples in the area have a presumption of who the father of the child is. This means that the courts assume the mother’s husband is the father unless there is evidence to the contrary. This presumption extends to the ten months following a divorce or the death of the husband.
If there is no presumption present because the couple is not married, it is possible for the parents to voluntarily acknowledge paternity. This requires both the father and the mother to agree to voluntarily sign a certificate of parentage.
If there is no presumption of fatherhood and the unmarried parents cannot agree to determine who the father is voluntarily, the final option involves a lawsuit. This form of legal action is known as a paternity action, and it typically involves the court ordering a DNA test to determine parentage.
There are many benefits to establishing parentage for the parents and the child involved. It creates a set of rights and responsibilities for the father and could be the first step toward building a stronger emotional bond with the child as well. A Maplewood attorney could assist with establishing paternity and securing the benefits that come with it.
For fathers and children, one of the major benefits of establishing parentage is securing rights of custody or visitation. A father who is not recognized under the law cannot gain access to his child without the mother’s consent. Once a father establishes paternity, he could formally request custody or visitation of the child.
Determining paternity is about more than just the legal rights of a parent. Establishing fatherhood could also be the first step toward developing a bond between the dad and the child. A father actively participating in a child’s life could have significant emotional benefits for the child.
While much of the focus of establishing paternity is about the rights of the father, there are also important responsibilities a dad must undertake as well. Parents have an obligation to financially support their children. If a father does not have primary custody of a child, this could come in the form of child support paid to the mother.
While this process could be challenging, there is no question that establishing fatherhood is important. Do not let the stress of pursuing legal action prevent you from formally determining a question of parentage. This legal matter could be greatly simplified with the help of one of our Maplewood paternity lawyers. Call our office today to get started.