Steuben County Paternity Lawyers
Paternity is the determination of a child’s biological father. Under paternity law, fathers are provided with legally enforced rights and responsibilities. Often times, paternity issues arise during conflicts related to child custody, parenting time and child support. Once a man is legally identified as a child’s father, he must take responsibility for the needs and well-being of his child.
It is always advisable to contact a knowledgeable paternity lawyer to inform you of your rights.
In Indiana, paternity can be established in one of three ways.
- If a man and woman are married, it is presumed that the husband is the father of any child conceived throughout the duration of the marriage. This position may be challenged in family court.
- A man and woman may sign a Paternity Affidavit form, which identifies the man as the father of the child. The signing of a Paternity Affidavit for creates a presumption that the man identified in the Affidavit is the child’s father.
- Paternity can be established through court order. Generally, the parties involved must submit to a DNA test to establish paternity of the child in question unless a finding of paternity is consented to by all parties. People generally seek out a court order when the identity of the father is uncertain or questioned.
When two people are unwed, and they conceive a child together, they may sign a Paternity Affidavit form. A Paternity Affidavit form identifies the man as the biological father of the child. This form may be completed after the mother gives birth in the hospital but not later than 72 hours after the child was born. The form may also be completed at a later date at the Department of Social Services. Once the Paternity Affidavit form is completed, the father’s name will be listed on the child’s birth certificate; however, the father will not have parental rights until establishing paternity in the court system.
Fathers’ Rights and Paternity
In some cases, a man may believe he is the father of a child, but the mother will deny this claim or prohibit the alleged father from seeing his child. In these cases, it is in the man’s best interest to hire a family law attorney. A family law attorney can inform the client of his rights, request a paternity court order, and represent the client during child custody and child support legal proceedings. The rights of a man who believes he is the father of a child and wants to establish paternity are limited and time sensitive. Generally, a father has 2 years after a child’s birth to file a paternity action or will be forever barred from establishing paternity, absent special circumstances.
Contact an Angola, Indiana Paternity lawyer at our law firm to inform you of your rights.