Paternity: A Father’s Child Custody Rights

The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates giving the following advice on dealing with paternity issues.

Paternity is simply the act of identifying a father to a child. Since it can be unclear who the father of a child is, there are a few ways that paternity can be established. If a man is married and his wife has a child, he is automatically granted paternity. A father who is involved with the mother may also sign a paternity acknowledgement form at the hospital or at other times. If a man is told, he is the father of a child he can voluntarily take a DNA test and then sign the acknowledgement form if he is the father. A man who is informed that is a father and takes no action may have a paternity suit brought against him. In this case, the court orders the man to take a DNA test. If the test shows, he is the father he then can sign the papers. If he refuses to sign, the case goes to a judge who determines if the man is the father. Because DNA tests are so reliable, it is rare for this to happen.

A man should never sign a paternity acknowledgement form if he isn’t certain he is the father. Once paternity is established, a man is responsible for the child. This means he will require to pay child support and provide for the child in other ways if he is not with the mother. A man has the right to know for sure he is a father before being obligated to the child. If a husband thinks he isn’t the father of his wife’s child, he should contest paternity. This is done through a DNA test. If the DNA test reveals he isn’t the father, the husband will not have obligations toward the child.

When paternity has been set up, the father has all of the rights and duties associated with child custody. He has the right to be involved in his child’s life and to have custody and visitation. He should work with the child’s mother to create an acceptable child custody arrangement that provides adequate visitation time. If he feels like it is better for the child to live with him, he can seek full custody of the child.

A father should be concerned about the best interest of his child. Once he knows he is a father, he has the basic right to have peace of mind about how his child is being raised. He now has a say in the decisions that will affect the child. This is a lot of responsibility, but it also brings great rewards.

 

If you are in need of a paternity lawyer in Sacramento call The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates.

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