Paternity cases are brought to obtain a legal determination of the parentage of a child. Most often this is needed when the child is born out of wedlock, but it can also be necessary when a child is born when the mother is married but the father is not her spouse. Time if of the essence when a man has declared himself to be a child’s father but then later suspects that may not be true. Lasting financial obligations on a incorrectly identified father may occur if time limitations are ignored.
Also decided in a paternity case is child custody and visitation as well as child support. For unmarried parents no longer in a happy relationship, visitation is usually good…..until it isn’t. When the parents are no longer getting along, one of the first breakdowns unfortunately involves a parent’s access to the child. Without the benefit of marriage or a court’s custodial order, the legal status of the child’s father oftentimes creates fear and apprehension when it comes to rights of visitation or legal recourse when visitation is withheld.
All too often, a parent comes to me in need of paternity litigation because visitation and child support have become contentious subjects. Like many matters in court, the process of obtaining a custodial order takes time; however you may be able to get a temporary custody order while the primary case is awaiting trial. The longer you wait to start the process, the longer it may take to address these important issues through a custody and support order. Call today to schedule a consultation.