Paternity Can Protect The Rights Of Both Parents
There are numerous reasons a party wishes to establish paternity. A mother may wish to obtain child support from a child’s biological father. A biological father may wish to secure time with his child and is encountering problems from an uncooperative mother. Other important reasons to establish paternity include providing health care and other benefits to a child or providing access to information on the biological father’s family medical history.
Paternity matters are complex and can be contested. It is wise to enlist the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney like Mel Coxwell. We provide personalized legal counsel in a client-friendly manner. Mel can review your situation during an initial consultation, answer your questions regarding paternity, and recommend an effective course of action. He speaks candidly with his clients, explaining what can be accomplished in terms that are easily understood.
We welcome the opportunity to review your situation and help you achieve your goals. Call 601-724-8723 to schedule a meeting.
How Paternity Is Established
Establishment of paternity can be voluntary or involuntary and can be done at different points in a child’s life. Paternity must be established before a child turns 18 years old. Once paternity is established, the father is responsible for expenses related to raising the child, including food and clothing, education, health care and other costs.
Establishing paternity is most common among parents who are not married. A petition to establish paternity can be filed by a biological mother or father, the child or a public entity charged with support of the child.
In Mississippi, when a married woman gives birth, the woman’s husband is legally presumed to be the father unless proven otherwise in court. This is true even if the woman became pregnant through an extramarital affair.
If an unmarried woman gives birth, it is possible to establish paternity by having the mother and father sign an acknowledgement of paternity form at the time of the birth or at a later date.
A complaint to establish paternity can be filed by the mother, the father, the child or the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Blood samples or genetic testing can be used. If these tests show a probability of fatherhood of at least 98 percent, the court will assume paternity. If an alleged father refuses to submit to blood or DNA testing, the court can review the facts of the case and still make a determination regarding paternity.
A Trusted Lawyer Who Will Help You Navigate Through The Paternity Process
Establishing paternity can have important and far-reaching consequences. We help clients throughout central Mississippi navigate through the process. Call 601-724-8723 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation in our Brandon office.