Paternity / Parentage Attorneys In Lake County, Indiana
Northwest Indiana Paternity / Parentage Lawyers
Depending upon the state in question, there are different laws in place determine how parentage and paternity are established. In Indiana, if the couple in question are married when the child is born, for example, then the husband is assumed to be the father of said child by default. With that said, sometimes that is not the case and the child is not that of the husband. Sometimes a couple is not married when they have the child, and that can also toss the issue of paternity into the air and create a complicated situation.
Are you involved in a paternity dispute? If so, you might be wondering what exactly you can do to either establish your paternity or prove that the child in question is not your own. There are few things that can be done to help determine these issues. In order to help move the process as quickly and as smoothly as possible, we recommend hiring an experienced attorney to help you out along the way. At Funk & Wendlinger, LLC, for example, we are proud to offer a team of professionals that have plenty of experience handling paternity and parentage cases. We work hard to achieve the best outcome possible for our clients.
How can paternity be established?
As mentioned above, the husband of a married couple is automatically presumed to be the biological father by default. With that said, there are certain things that can be done to legally establish paternity should you believe that you are not the biological father of your wife’s child. Along the same lines, a couple that is amicably together when the child is born, but who are not married, can still establish paternity at birth by having the partner sign the birth certificate in the hospital.
To help establish paternity in either of the above situations, you can file for a paternity affidavit. This will legally establish the paternity of the child in question – but keep in mind that this means that if you are found to be the father, you will also legally be responsible for all of the responsibilities that come as a result of that. Child support, for example, should you and the mother not be together will most likely be issued to the custodial parent should you be found to be the father. While it is always a good idea to know for certain, you should still keep in mind that establishing paternity can present some unforeseen consequences should you be found to be the father.
You should also note that you do not have to be the only one to initiate a paternity affidavit. Should you deny being the father of the child in question but the mother believes you are, she can also have the court issue a paternity action. This essentially requires that the alleged father, the mother, and the child all undergo testing to determine whether or not you are the father. By the same token, you can also have the court issue a paternity action, and you can do this any time after conception, however it is unlikely that a court will force the mother to receive an invasive DNA test to test the fetus if she is strongly opposed or if it could pose a risk to the health of mother or child. In these instances, the testing can often be done at the hospital after the birth of the child.
Because parentage is so often determined at a hospital, let’s take a quick look at how the procedure for this is supposed to be handled. First of all, you should have been presented with a paternity affidavit separately from the mother. This allows you to carefully go over the affidavit and decide whether or not you believe you are the father before signing. Note that not signing does not mean that you simply have no responsibilities toward the child in question. On the contrary, the mother can always get a court order to establish paternity – there is no getting out of being legally responsible for a child that you have fathered.
Do you need an attorney? If you are establishing paternity, it is a good idea to hire an experienced attorney to help you out. This is because you will be facing issues of child custody and child support, among others, should you be determined to be the father. It is always nice to have someone in your corner whose sole intention is to ensure your legal rights are defended. Contact Funk & Wendlinger, LLC for more information!