What is a paternity case? I hear a lot of people say “I don’t need to file a paternity case; I know this is my child or his child, we just need to set up custody.” Although a paternity case can be used to make a determination of who the father of a certain child is, it is also the vehicle used to make determinations of custody, parenting time, and child support when parents were not married. So just because a paternity case is filed doesn’t mean there is a dispute regarding paternity, it can just be used to establish custody and support.
Presumptions of Paternity -
Does an unmarried father have rights: Absolutely, but sometimes these rights are deferred while a determination of paternity is made. If you are a male and contesting paternity, you don’t want to ask for parenting time until a determination is made. This is for a number of reasons.
1. A paternity test is not automatic and the greater the bond between the child and presumed father, the less likely the court will order the test. So if you have any questions concerning whether a child is yours, you don’t want to establish a bond until you ask the court to request a paternity test.
2. Best interest of child in general – If you look at this from the child’s perspective, it would or could be detrimental to the child to become attached to someone as a parent only to be told that person is not your dad and never to be allowed to see dad again.
Obviously the counter is also true. If you don’t want a paternity test, you need to prove to the judge that testing would not be in the best interest of the child.
The use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Although I hope the information contained on this website will be helpful, it should not be a substitute for legal advice from an attorney that has reviewed the intricacy of your case.