A Paternity Action is the legal process where a court not only determines the legal father of a child, but also where a court establishes child support and a contact schedule for the parents.
Most paternity cases involve parents who had a child out of wedlock. Although a court can establish child support and time sharing, other issues often present in dissolution of marriage cases are not available in a paternity action, such as support for the other parent (palimony) and distribution of assets. Until a child’s paternity has been legally established, a child’s father has no legal right to have contact with his child(ren). Due to the possible consequences on time sharing and child support, unmarried parents should legally establish paternity as soon as possible after birth.
The conception of an out of wedlock child no longer carries the social stigma that once burdened the parents of such children. Actions for paternity have become more commonplace in our court system and parents are no longer frowned upon for not being married prior to having a child. If you should have questions about paternity, we are here to discuss your questions with you.
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