More and more couples are opting to avoid an expensive wedding and live together as life partners. While this is now socially acceptable, it can create problems when the question of custody arises after a couple separates. While marriage allows both parents to be put on the birth certificate automatically, unmarried parents must take additional steps.
If a couple is unmarried at the time of their child’s birth, both parents can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. The identity of the mother isn’t usually an issue, but the form identifies the father as legally and biologically related to the child. As soon as the paperwork is filed with the court, the father has all the legal rights of paternity.
However, if one of the parents doesn’t want to declare the paternity of the child, the parent who wishes to establish paternity must petition the court to order a paternity test. Typically, establishing paternity allows parents to collect child support and ask the court for child custody or visitation rights. Without a legal link with the child, the parent has no legal grounds on which to stand.
If the court is petitioned, a judge will order genetic testing to establish paternity definitively. If a man is found to be the biological father, the judge will issue an order of filiation, establishing that man as the legal father.
Talk to our skilled Bronx family law attorneys if you need your ex to pay child support or if your ex refuses to allow you to see your child. Creating a legal bond enables the court to act on your behalf. Talk to Attorneys Michael King about your case today. He can look over the details of your situation and offer experienced recommendations about your best course of legal action.
Contact us at (347) 378-1170 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.