As defined by state law, there are two types of fathers: a legal father and a putative biological father. For a man to be considered a legal father in the eyes of the law, he must be married to the mother at the time of her child’s birth or marry her thereafter. A putative father is one who has never been married to the mother of his biological child.
A legal father automatically has legal rights upon marrying the mother or, if already married, upon the child’s birth. A putative biological father only has an opportunity interest to ask the court to grant him legal father status. In these ways, a man’s paternity can play an important role in determining his parental rights and obligations.
It may be in your best interests to work with a knowledgeable fathers’ rights attorney from our firm. A Suwanee paternity lawyer can help you understand the implications of verifying or refuting your parenthood before a family law judge.
Paternity can be determined by a simple DNA test. The child and the father go to a lab where cheek swabs are taken from both and sent off for analysis. The report comes back stating whether this is the biological father or not.
There are many different labs that will administer a paternity test in our area. It is important to make sure that it is a qualified lab and not an over-the-counter paternity test that you can buy at a drugstore, because the latter is not admissible in a legal case. Obtaining an official lab report is crucial for all local family law matters.
You should consider taking a paternity test if you are unsure about whether you are actually the biological father of a child. If you either know or suspect that a child is yours and you are not married to the mother, you can still request a paternity test to see if there is a biological relationship.
Whether or not you are the biological parent of a child will greatly impact your rights. For example, a positive paternity test in Suwanee will likely result in child support obligations. If a father is unmarried to the mother but a paternity test shows that he is biologically related to the child, then he can ask the court to legitimize the child.
Legitimation includes the putative father asking the court to order a paternity test if the mother has not already allowed that. If it comes back that he is the biological father, he can then ask the court to grant him legal father status and give him rights to parenting time and legal custody. An experienced attorney from our team can offer more insight on your parental rights and help you decide the best way to move forward.
You could be required to pay child support even if the results of your paternity test indicate that you’re not biologically related to the child in question. For instance, if the child was adopted, you’re not going to be biologically related, but they still have a right to support from both parents – adoptive and otherwise.
Additionally, if your wife has had a child during your marriage, but you are uncertain about whether you are actually the father, you can order a paternity test. Sometimes, fathers in that situation choose to raise that child as their own. Otherwise, when parties are divorced, the father will often end up paying child support even for a child who is not biologically related to him, because he has chosen to remain their parent.
If parents are not married, the father is not entitled to any visitation rights. If he is the putative father, he must file a legitimation case to have any rights to the child. This is why it’s important to hire a Suwanee paternity lawyer who can help you file a legitimation case and protect your parental rights.