Guiding Families Through Paternity Issues
Paternity is the process of establishing parent and child relationships, usually involving children born outside of marriage. Paternity must be established before the court can award physical custody, legal custody and parenting time to a father.
Until such time as paternity is established, the biological mother of a child has sole physical custody of the child. Paternity may be established in two ways:
- By court order
- By recognition of parentage signed by the father after the child is born
Once paternity is established, the father may petition the court for custody and parenting time. Until such time as the court issues an order establishing a father's custody and parenting time, the father's time with the child is completely at the whim of the biological mother.
A paternity action may be brought by the father, the mother or the child. Paternity actions may be brought at any time before the child turns 18. In some circumstances, the county may also bring a paternity action (if the child or the mother is receiving public assistance).
If there is any doubt as to the father's biological connection to a child, genetic testing is recommended. A man signing recognition of parentage may be declared the child's father even if it is later found that he is not the biological father.
Get Representation That Will Work For You
Bill Casey has extensive experience representing both men and women in paternity actions, as well as proceedings to establish custody and parenting time.