Gomez Law PLLC.

A man cradling a baby in his arms - Gomez Law PLLCIn this article, you can discover…

  • The legal benefits of establishing paternity.
  • How custody rights can be affected if paternity is not established.
  • Whether a man can lose his rights to establish paternity.

What Does It Mean To Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity means that you are legally recognized as the biological father of a child. This allows you to petition for the rights to care for and have or share custody of your child. You also obtain the right to be notified if your child is up for adoption by the other parent.

What Legal Rights Might I Be Missing If I Don’t Establish Paternity?

Failing to establish paternity by neglecting a paternity test denies you the right to petition for the care and custody of your child. You also won’t be informed if your child is up for adoption, nor would you be eligible to inherit from or through the child.

For men interested in their legal rights as a father, the benefits of establishing paternity are considerable.

How Does Not Establishing Paternity Affect Child Custody And Visitation?

Without a court order to establish paternity, the mother of the child has sole custody of the child in Minnesota. She would not be legally obligated to allow you to visit with or care for your child until paternity has been established.

Once paternity is established, you, as a father, have the legal right to petition for time with your child. A verified and legally binding paternity test is the simplest way to make legal access to your kids possible, and a family law attorney can help you with this process.

What Are My Financial Responsibilities As A Father If Paternity Is Not Established?

Even without a court order to pay child support, your financial help may still be legally sought. This is especially true if the mother of your child has faced economic hardship (such as lost wages due to hospitalization and subsequent medical bills) and files a case for assistance from you.

It is also possible for the mother of your child to legally require a paternity test; in this case, a backlog of child support may be sought from you once paternity is determined.

Getting ahead of the plan by keeping careful records of payments you’ve made to the mother is the safest option for you, whether or not you turn out to be the father. A family law attorney can help you navigate your options and collect evidence of these past payments.

Can I Legally Refuse To Establish Paternity?

No; refusal to establish paternity will likely result in an action requiring that paternity be established. This action can be filed by the child’s mother through a lawyer of her own or through the county in the State of Minnesota where you reside.

A refusal to submit to a court-ordered paternity test can lead to your being found in contempt of court and legally presumed to be the child’s biological father. It’s best to submit to the paternity test and let a family law attorney help you with the next steps as paternity is determined.

Can I Lose The Right To Establish Paternity After A Certain Period?

Within a year after your child turns 18, your now-adult child may foreclose the right to establish paternity. You also automatically lose the right to establish paternity should another man step in and claim that he is the child’s father, whether he is biologically the father or not.

Are The Social And Emotional Consequences For A Child When Paternity Is Not Established?

Children want to know where they come from, and many children feel a natural longing for a connection to their families. For some children, not knowing who their father is can be embarrassing, upsetting, or lonely. One of the simplest steps you can take for a child is to verify that you are or are not their father.

This can help alleviate the confusion, distress, and self-esteem issues which stay with many children unsure of their parentage. A compassionate and seasoned family law attorney can answer any questions you have, and guide you through the process with care, dignity, and sound advice.

For more information on the Consequences Of Not Establishing Paternity, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (763) 284-5552 today.

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