Since we were never married, why do I need an attorney in a paternity/parentage case?
First of all, if a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is not signed by both parties, then we will need to establish paternity through DNA testing, file a petition to establish paternity, and enter a Court Order. Only then can we move forward addressing the issues of child custody, child support,child visitation, daycare, and medical expenses. Both the mother and father have a right to either establish paternity or challenge it. Also, it is a misconception that the mother is automatically granted sole custody in paternity cases. Both parties have rights in paternity cases. Fathers also have a right to file for sole custody, as well as joint custody being agreed to between the parties or ordered by the court.
Further, the statutory guidelines for child support also apply to paternity cases. Additionally, as in all custody cases, the parties can create a parenting plan between themselves or it can be decided by the court.
Paternity cases often involve intense emotional issues. However, we strive to encourage that the child have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
For help with Paternity/Parentage, please contact: