Do I really need a lawyer to establish paternity?

Being a parent can be one of the greatest joys in life, and when your rights as a parent are at issue, it can also be the source of a great deal of stress and confusion.

If you are having issues concerning paternity, Coover Law is here to advocate for your best interests. Reach out to (410) 553-5042 to schedule your initial paid consultation, it will be well worth your time to determine exactly what your options are in your case. 

You should absolutely hire an attorney if:

1. You are not certain that you are the biological father

Being a parent is a life-long commitment, and if you believe you may not be the biological father of a child, determining who is can be essential. If you are not the father of a child, but are legally classified as such, you will have a broad variety of obligations and costs in relation to the child that you would otherwise not have to pay. Being a father is expensive,  and taking on the financial obligation of being a father, if you are not absolutely sure you are the father, could be detrimental to your financial stability. Speaking with an attorney to determine paternity will support your best interests. 

2. You have been ordered to submit to a genetic test

The Court may order you to submit to a genetic test concerning your paternity. This is an element of the paternity order which determines if you are actually the father of the child, and if you will have the obligation of financial support of the child. 

3. You have been wrongfully named as the father

Being wrongfully named as the father can lead to a huge amount of expense and obligation on your part. Within the paternity order, the amount that you are obligated to pay in terms of child support, medical support, dental support, and other factors will be determined. Orders for custody and visitation will also be included in the paternity order, which, if you are not the father, can lead to substantial costs and obligations.

do I need a lawyer to establish paternityHow Lawyers Help Establish Paternity

Affidavit of Parentage form

An Affidavit of Parentage form, sometimes referred to as an Acknowledgement of Paternity, is a form that establishes paternity alone. The Affidavit of Parentage form is willingly signed by both parents, through which paternity can be established without Court intervention.

Court order

When the paternity of a child is challenged, a Court Order can be issued to determine the paternity of the child. The Court will consider all the evidence presented to it, including whatever documentation and test results you provide. Based upon a review of the evidence, an Order may then be issued determining your paternity and obligations.

Judicial proceeding (if paternity is contested and cannot be resolved with genetic testing)

Judicial proceedings are sometimes necessary in paternity suits, especially when paternity is contested or cannot be determined with genetic testing. The Court can proceed through a suit concerning only the rights of the child, but a paternity case includes not only the rights of the child, but also the obligations of the parent which can include various forms of support ranging from financial to medical. In order to do well in a judicial proceeding, it is essential that you know and follow the Court’s procedures and file everything in line with the Rules of the Court. 

Working with a Howard County paternity lawyer on your case will ensure that the rules and procedures of Howard County are incorporated into your case, and errors in Court do not cost you the life-long expense of paternity or the loss of paternal rights altogether. 

Helping Fathers Build Relationships With Their Children

Working with an experienced Howard County paternity lawyer from the start of your case will lead to the best possible outcome. Adhering to the procedures of the Court and filing the correct paperwork at the correct time is essential for your case. 

Call (410) 553-5042 now to connect with Coover Law to schedule an appointment to discuss your paternity issues. Our initial consultations are subject to a fee, as our firm’s strong focus on paternity cases means that our advice is highly relevant and valuable. Even if you only come in for a consultation, you’ll leave with a much better understanding of your paternity situation, and what your options are. 

Contact Coover Law today to advocate for your best interests in your paternity claim or case!