When a child is born to people who are not married to each other, a Paternity suit is required to establish the Father/Child Relationship. A Paternity suit is also called a Petition to Determine Father/Child Relationship. This type of suit establishes the father of the child in the eyes of the law. A Paternity suit will also establish the parenting plan-or how legal and physical custody are apportioned-and how much child support is to be paid and by whom. Having a father listed on the birth certificate is not enough to establish the legal rights and obligations of a Father; while it creates the presumption of parentage, a Paternity suit is what legally establishes the father/child relationship.
A Paternity suit can be filed by either the Mother or Father of the child, or by one of their family law attorneys. In fact, it is not uncommon for this type of case to be filed when the parents are actively involved in a relationship. Whether or not the Mother and Father of the child are together or apart, it is important to establish legal Paternity with all of its rights and obligations. This suit is what protects a family when the mother and father are not married when a child is born.
When evaluating whether to file a Paternity suit, it is important to contact a family law lawyer familiar with Paternity actions. The lawyer needs to know all the parental rights and responsibilities at stake, such as child custody rights and child support. It is also helpful for the family law attorney to know how local judges treat these issues in family law cases. The Lowry Law Firm’s family law attorneys frequently handle Paternity cases involving parental rights and child custody, and if you are in a situation where you have questions about parental rights, child custody, or child support, contact them immediately.
The family law attorneys at The Lowry Law Firm can help you establish legal Paternity in Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, and Washington Counties. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.