Lic #: 16130-64
What is Paternity?
“Paternity” refers to the legal establishment of the father of a child. While the identity of a child’s biological mother is usually by nature easy to establish, the father’s identity may in some cases be uncertain. Paternity issues often arise in cases involving child support, but they can also be important in relation to adoption, inheritance, custody and parenting time, health care, and other issues.
DNA testing is generally done only when one party contests the paternity allegations. For instance, the putative (or “alleged”) father in a paternity action that is the basis for child support collection may require proof that he is the child’s father before he consents to payment of support. In other cases, the mother may contest the putative father’s paternity, such as when a man attempts to gain custody of or parenting time (visitation) with a child he believes to be his. In many other cases, there is no argument between the parents, and paternity can be established voluntarily. Paternity issues, like most family law issues, can have far-reaching implications, both financially and emotionally. When faced with these issues, it is important to seek the counsel of an objective, experienced lawyer. Christina Mass has gained experience over the last 20 years in dealing with a vast array of paternity cases. Let her assist you in your particular situation.