Seeking Legal Guidance With Paternity Testing
By Henry F. Lewis on February 12, 2018
Issues of paternity can arise in a family law setting in several ways. For couples that decide to live together without getting married, there is a presumption that any child born during the period of cohabitation is the natural child of the pair. But that may not always be the case, and a paternity test can reveal who the biological father truly is. Both the mother and father can benefit from test results. Paternity testing is used to establish fatherhood and can be useful when seeking child support or visitation rights with a child. The attorneys at Gardner & Lewis, LLP, in Oakland, CA, understand the emotional difficulties that go along with determining paternity and will take steps to protect the rights of their clients, whether that is from seeking support payments, visitation rights, or denying paternity. This area of family law can be especially complex and requires legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney.
Methods of Establishing Paternity
Once paternity is established both parents have rights and responsibilities, along with legal consequences for ignoring these responsibilities. Paternity can be established by:
- Genetic testing
- An admission of paternity by the father
Additionally, a presumption of paternity exists if the father was living with or married to the mother at the time of the birth
Some of the most common reasons needed for establishing paternity revolve around the payment of child support, custody disagreements, and visitation rights with a child. A father may wish to acknowledge paternity, or submit to a test in order to conclusively establish paternity, when seeking a change in custody or visitation, or may want answers regarding paternity in an attempt to forego the requirement of paying child support. Likewise, a mother may wish to have paternity established in order to make certain that custody and visitation are appropriate, or to seek payment of support.
What Rights Does a Child Have Once Paternity is Established?
Mothers and fathers are not the only parties who benefit from conclusively establishing paternity. The child at issue also has a lot at stake when it comes to determining paternity. Children are entitled to support payments from their biological father but may also be entitled to receive other benefits. Among the rights that can be passed from father to child are the rights to disability and social security payments, inheritance, proceeds from wrongful death lawsuits, and insurance proceeds. However, without proof of paternity, a child may not be eligible for these legal rights and be forced to take legal action to make a claim for what is rightfully theirs. A paternity test can put an end to the need to engage in lengthy and complex legal battles for benefits, and may also provide much-needed peace of mind.
Who to Call for Help with Paternity Testing
If you have questions about what to expect from a paternity test or need answers that can only be provided by a paternity test, we know how to help. Please contact our office online, or call us today at 510-451-4822.
Related to This
“The needs of your family are always at the forefront of our legal services. Whether through litigation or mediation, we believe that reaching a fair, efficient solution with minimal negative impact to your family is of the utmost importance.” Henry F. Lewis