The question of paternity is central to many family law disputes. From child custody to support, the courts are unable to reach a conclusion in many of these cases without first determining the identity of a minor child’s biological father.
When you are facing family law issues, you might need guidance from a Forsyth County paternity lawyer. The process of establishing or refuting paternity can be challenging on your own. Let a skilled child custody attorney help you throughout every stage of the process.
The process of establishing the paternity of a minor child varies from case to case. There are different options available depending on the relationship between the parents. Some parents opt to voluntarily establish paternity, while others pursue legal action to do so.
The law presumes that a man is the father of a minor child in some cases. For example, when a child is born to a woman in a legal marriage, the law presumes that the husband is the father. This presumption can be rebutted when there is evidence to the contrary.
Unmarried individuals can voluntarily acknowledge paternity. This is done by signing a Paternity Acknowledgement at the hospital where the baby is born. Alternatively, this document may be executed at the Office of Vital Records.
Not all parents are in a position to voluntarily acknowledge the paternity of a child. When this is the case, pursuing legal action with the help of a Forsyth County paternity attorney can be the best path forward. This process begins with filing a petition with Georgia family courts, similar to any other lawsuit. As the case continues, the judge will order the alleged father to submit to DNA testing.
If the DNA test makes it clear that the father and child share DNA, the court will issue an order establishing paternity. While this does not guarantee a father’s rights related to child custody or support, it does give them a chance to pursue legal action to protect those rights.
The paternity of a minor child has major implications on the lives of multiple parties. For that reason, multiple individuals have the right to establish a child’s paternity, depending on the circumstances.
This right begins with the alleged father. When a person has reason to believe they are the biological father of a minor child, they can petition the family court to seek a formal order of paternity. Likewise, the mother of the child could also file the same petition to determine the identity of the child’s biological father.
This right can sometimes extend to other family members depending on who has guardianship or custody over the child. For example, a child’s maternal grandparents could establish paternity if they are their legal guardian. A Forsyth County attorney can help families and individuals determine and protect their rights in the process of establishing paternity.
Whether you are trying to establish paternity or refute your position as a child’s biological father, the process can be challenging to navigate. If you are dealing with a paternity issue, now is the time to seek legal help.
A Forsyth County paternity lawyer can assist you with your case. Reach out right away for a confidential consultation with a qualified team member.