NJ Paternity Lawyers
If you are not married at the time your child is born, you may not have any legal rights. Here is what you need to know.
While a person may assume that they have legal rights related to their child if they believe the child is theirs, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, only mothers have inherent parental rights; paternity, on the other hand, must often be established. To learn more about how to establish paternity and why doing so is important for both mothers and fathers, call the office of Lomurro Law today.
What is Paternity and Why Does it Matter?
Paternity is the word for legal fatherhood. If a father does not establish paternity, then they have no legal rights related to their child. This means that the father cannot seek custody of or visitation with their child.
Paternity is also important for the mother and a child, too. If paternity is not established, then a mother will have no legal grounds on which to seek child support or benefits for the child off of the father’s record, such as healthcare benefits. Additionally, a child has a right to know who their father is and may suffer undue psychological and emotional harm if they do not.
How to Establish Paternity in New Jersey
When parents are married at the time of a child’s birth, the father is assumed to be the child’s legal father and paternity is automatically established. If the parents are not married, though, paternity must be established. At the time the baby is born, parents will need to complete a certificate of parentage and both sign it. The certificate can also be completed at a later date.
There are some situations in which the mother and alleged father disagree about who a child’s legal father is. If this is the case, a paternity case may need to be brought to the court, which can order genetic testing. Following DNA testing, paternity can be established by a court order.
What Happens if the Married Spouse is Not the Father?
There are some cases where the man to whom the mother is married at the time of her child’s birth is not the biological parent. The married partner will automatically be assumed to be the child’s father and will have their name added to the birth certificate unless the couple fills out an AOD - an Affidavit of Denial of Paternity. After the AOD is signed, the biological parents can fill out the certificate of parentage form discussed above.
How Our Experienced Monmouth County Family Law Attorneys Can Help
At the law office of Lomurro Law, we know that the issue of paternity can be a tricky one. We can help you navigate the process of establishing paternity or bringing forth a paternity action in court. To learn more about the process and how we can help, as well as to get answers to any questions that you have, please call our law firm directly today. We can also help you with a variety of other family law matters.