When there is a paternity issue, it can be a worrisome and problematic issue to overcome. This is something that often arises with unmarried people who are either unsure as to the paternity or are embroiled in a dispute. It is easy to forget the children when the parents disagree about major issues such as paternity, but a main factor in these cases is the best interests of the child. Having legal assistance is vital not just to satisfy the parents or possible parents, but for the child as well.
There are generally two different ways in which paternity cases will arise. First, the state might bring action to recover costs accrued from public assistance and to get child support from the unmarried father. Second, a parent might begin an action to establish child support and to give the legal father his legal decision-making and parenting time rights. Either party can file to establish paternity, legal decision-making, parenting time and child support.
If the state is moving establish paternity, it will not deal with visitation and child custody. With this type of case, the father will pay child support but will not have any legal rights to see the child. Often, this is untenable for the father. A state paternity suit might lead to excessive payments unless a legal advocate protects the father. It is always wise to be protected by an attorney. A legal professional can also assist the father with getting visitation and possibly custody if the circumstances warrant it.
Unmarried fathers should not generally try to negotiate with the mother to avoid state intervention as only orders signed by a judge are enforceable. There are legal remedies if mothers are trying to keep the father out of the child’s life and do not have a viable reason for doing so. When there is a dispute over paternity or any other matter that a father or mother needs legal help with, it is important to speak to an experienced fathers’ rights attorney about the case immediately.