Establishing Paternity is Important
If you are not married but have children, your legal rights as a parent may not be well-protected under the law. When unmarried couples have children, there is no presumption of parentage for the father. It is important for unmarried fathers to establish their rights and obligations as a parent to their children, but it is equally important for mothers and children to have paternity established in order for the child to be supported by both parents, to have a relationship and parenting time with both parents, and to enjoy all of the legal benefits that flow between parent and child.
Massachusetts law states that children of unmarried couples have the same rights as children of married couples, failure to properly establish paternity can lead to a host of legal problems, so establishing paternity is critical to secure the legal rights of children and of parents.
How to Establish Paternity
The establishment of paternity can occur with a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or through legal action to establish paternity. A paternity test is not sufficient to establish parentage, although it can be helpful in a contested matter.
A Complaint to Establish Paternity can lead to a Court determination of parentage, but may also result in other issues being addressed, such as custody, parenting plans, child support, health insurance, life insurance, college education, and other issues related to children. If paternity has been established because the parents signed a Voluntary Acknowledgment, but no other legal action has been taken, either parent can file a Complaint for Support-Custody-Parenting to resolve these child-related issues. Sometimes children are born to a couple while the mother was married to another person (or within 300 days of the termination of the marriage by divorce). While this is a little more complex, the Court has a process for the establishment of paternity under these circumstances as well.
Contact Our Experienced Paternity Lawyers to Discuss Your Paternity Concerns
We have helped many clients who have children that were born from committed and ongoing relationships and others whose children were born from relationships that have since broken down. It is important that parentage be legally established in order for you and your children to have the rights and protections that come with the parent-child relationship. The attorneys at the Levitt Law Group, LLC, are happy to represent either party in a paternity case, to help establish paternity and/or address any issues related to the parentage of children.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.