If a child is conceived while the mother is married, the law automatically presumes the husband to be the child’s father. However, if the mother is unmarried, paternity must be legally established before the court will make an order regarding child custody, child visitation and/or child support.
Paternity can be established in a number of ways. One of the ways is by the father’s voluntary declaration of paternity or agreement. Another is by genetic testing at the request of either parent or by court order. Additionally, a court may still establish paternity without the cooperation of the father.
For instance, if the alleged father fails to answer a legal complaint that he is the father, the court will name him the father by default. On the other hand, paternity may still be presumed even where the alleged father establishes he is not biologically the father. It is extremely important to know your rights because a judgment of paternity will have long term consequences.
Consult the attorneys at Chung & Ignacio, LLP to discuss your issue concerning paternity.