Establishing or disestablishing paternity can be complicated. As paternity lawyers, we receive many inquiries from both mothers and fathers about paternity issues. Here are some of the most common questions we receive and the answers.
Can the Court Order Me to Take a Paternity Test?
There are a few cases where you may be ordered to take a paternity test and, yes, you must comply. Sometimes the Department of Social Services orders it when a mother files for government support. Rather than the state providing health insurance or other assistance, they may go after the listed father prior to granting the request. Another example is when you and the mother have argued over paternity and her paternity lawyer petitions the courts for the test.
I am not the Biological Father and We are Divorcing, Do I Have to Support the Child?
That depends on several factors. The biggest is if you were ever named the legal father. If you are the legal father and not the biological father, yes, you may be ordered to pay child support. Other factors that may influence the answer is the relationship you have with the child including length and closeness and whether you’re requesting visitation. Lastly, this may depend on whether there is a living biological father and the sort of involvement he has with the child.
How can I Become the Child’s Father if I am not the Biological Father?
If the biological father was assumed and named as the legal father at any point in the child’s life, you will need to involve him and the mother. In cases where the legal father is willing to give up his rights, he may allow you to adopt the child, making you the legal father. If he is deceased, you can adopt the child without question with the assistance of a paternity lawyer. There are few instances when a previously named legal and biological father’s rights will be terminated without his consent.
If you have a child whose paternity is in question, you may want to consider contacting a paternity lawyer. Wagstaff Law Office provides caring and competent assistance with paternity and related issues. If you have other questions regarding a paternity issue, contact us at (727) 584-8182. We are here to help you through establishing and gaining visitation or other rights as a parent or disestablishing paternity if you believe you are not the father.