The family court system often mistreats fathers. Many paternity cases last longer than needed, leaving fathers alienated from their children. The court’s focus is not necessarily on what is best for the child at all times but also on what they feel is in ‘the child’s best interest.’
If you are a father trying to preserve your rights of paternity, contact Jensen Family Law, handling fathers’ rights cases, for help. A family law attorney helps you understand the legal options available and tell you the truth about your chances of winning the case. Read to understand your legal options in paternity cases.
Types of Fathers
Fathers are individuals who are biologically related to their children. In this case, the father needs to establish paternity to access his child’s medical history and receive any benefits that may be available under the law.
There are several different types of fathers:
- Biological Father: This is an individual who has been proven through DNA testing to be the biological father of a child.
- Presumed father: If a man is married to a woman when she gives birth, he is presumed to be the child’s father. The court can rebut the presumption with clear and convincing evidence that shows that another man is the father.
- Acknowledged father: This is a man whose family has accepted him as the child’s father. The family can sign an acknowledgment of parentage form or have a DNA test done to prove that he is the father.
- Stepfather: This man married his mother after she gave birth and has been living with him.
- Alleged father: This man claims to be the biological father but cannot prove it with a DNA test or by signing an acknowledgment of parentage form.
What are Father’s Rights In a Paternity Case?
Father’s rights in a paternity case refer to the legal rights of men who are seeking to establish their paternity or legal responsibility for providing financial and emotional support for children who are biologically theirs. Men can seek the father’s rights in a paternity case by petitioning the court.
In general, fathers have certain rights when it comes to their children. These include the following:
- The right to visitation with his child
- The right to seek custody of his child (if you are not married)
- The right to seek child support from the mother of your child
What Happens If You Are Unmarried and Have a Child?
In most states, if you are not married to the mother of your child, you do not have any legal rights to your child without a court order. Without your input, the mother has full custody of the child and can decide where the child will live and their name.
To be involved in your child’s life, you must establish paternity. You may also request visitation with your child through this process. Contact an attorney specializing in family law or paternity cases to learn more about how paternity cases work in your state.
Does Paternity In the US Affect Parental Rights?
The court establishes paternity by signing an acknowledgment of paternity form. However, this does not mean you cannot contest paternity. If you are not sure who the father of your child is or if someone else wants to claim paternity, then you should contact a lawyer who can help determine whether or not their claim is valid.
You can contest paternity in court if evidence contradicts the alleged father’s paternity claim. For instance, if a woman had sexual relations with two men within a certain period and gave birth within six months after each encounter, she would have multiple possible fathers for her child. In such cases, they must conduct paternity tests using DNA testing methods such as blood samples or cheek swabs taken from both parents and newborns (if possible). The results will determine the genetic linkage with the child via these samples.
Once they establish paternity, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities toward their children. It means that even if one parent does not want anything to do with their child, they still have to pay child support until they turn eighteen or graduate high school (whichever comes first).
Legal options are available to fathers who wish to challenge a determination of paternity. However, it’s best that these fathers tread carefully, or they could end up hurting their case rather than improving it. Those seeking information on how to change a child support order should contact experienced legal counsel so that they know exactly what their rights are and the best steps to protect them.