Establishing paternity and enforcing the legal rights of fatherhood can be a sensitive and lengthy process that must be handled with care. The attorneys at The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas are experienced mediators and litigators who have the legal knowledge and skills to help you do what’s best for your family. They can help you find all the paternity answers you need to make sound decisions and choose the most appropriate course of action for your situation.
Establishing paternity gives a child a legal father and conveys specific rights and responsibilities to the father. Paternity affects determinations regarding:
A husband is presumed to be the legal father of any child born to a married couple. If a child is born to a married mother and the biological father is not her husband, paternity must be established for the biological father to have any legal rights. If a child is born out of wedlock, legal fatherhood must be established before the father’s name is included on the birth certificate. Pennsylvania law allows paternity to be established either voluntarily or involuntarily before the child reaches the age of 18. Voluntary paternity is commonly established at the hospital when the child is born. If the mother and father agree to paternity, they may sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity in front of a witness.
Paternity may be established involuntarily if there is a dispute about a child’s biological father. A father may file a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity without the mother’s consent to protect his right to be notified of any future adoption proceedings concerning the child in question. For a legal father to obtain legal rights to child support or custody, he must petition the court to establish paternity. In an action to establish paternity, the court may order all involved parties to submit to genetic testing to reveal the biological father. An experienced West Chester family attorney can protect your rights if you are facing a paternity dispute.
Paternity issues overlap many different areas of family law, and it’s vital that you understand all of your options. The attorneys at The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas take the time to understand your needs and work hard to develop a course of action designed to achieve favorable results. Contact the firm online or call 610-692-3460 to schedule an initial consultation at your convenience.