If you are facing questions regarding the paternity of a child, it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations. Understanding how this process works will only benefit you as you go through it. An experienced attorney could walk you step-by-step through the process of establishing the father of your child.
Formally establishing paternity can come with many new responsibilities, but it can also provide for substantial legal rights as well. A Thousand Oaks paternity lawyer could help you understand these rights and responsibilities while guiding you through this process.
There are a number of ways that establishing paternity could be beneficial to both the child as well as the father. From medical histories to parental rights, these benefits cover a broad spectrum.
Providing the child with potentially life-saving medical information is a valuable reason to establish a child’s father. Many serious medical conditions are passed on from a father to their child. Understanding their father’s medical history could provide a child with the tools they need to address their own health risks in the future. Legally identifying who a child’s father is could also impact their financial future. By establishing paternity, a child could have a legal right to inherit their father’s property or assets.
Establishing paternity allows a father to exercise their parental rights. Until fatherhood is legally established, a father might not have any say in the raising of their child or the right to visitation or custody. Additionally, determining a child’s father could also prevent someone from facing financial liability for a child that is not theirs or help a mother exercise her right to financial assistance from her child’s father. A discussion with a Thousand Oaks attorney could outline all of the potential benefits of establishing paternity.
There are two ways someone may approach establishing paternity. The first option is known as a voluntary declaration of parentage. This document, which is generally completed shortly after birth, is enough to establish paternity. The only exceptions are in case of deceit or duress. As long as a father enters this document willingly with a genuine understanding of the facts, it will serve to establish their parental rights.
Not all issues of paternity can be resolved amicably. In cases where a father will not voluntarily claim his child, the only other option is through a lawsuit. Either prospective parent can file a legal claim to establish paternity. Additionally, the alleged father could also file a lawsuit to dispute the finding.
Once a child reaches age 12, they also have the right to pursue a lawsuit to legally determine the identity of their father. Once the case is initiated, the courts typically require a DNA test to determine if the party to the lawsuit is the child’s birth father. A lawyer in Thousand Oaks could help any party demonstrate paternity through these various methods.
When it comes to issues of paternity, you deserve to know the truth. The rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood are significant, making it vital that you ensure the result of these proceedings are accurate. You do not have to face this difficult challenge alone. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with a Thousand Oaks paternity lawyer.
Hoffer Family Law Firm