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Establishing paternity is very important because a child’s father has no legal right to him or her in regards to parenting time or custody until parenting time is established. Until paternity is determined, the mother has sole legal and physical custody of the child until the court decides otherwise. If there is a paternity court hearing, the court will make a decision regarding custody, parenting time, and child support.
If you are facing a paternity matter, having an experienced Duluth family law attorney by your side throughout the process will help ensure it moves as smoothly as possible and that you receive a fair outcome in the matter.
There are two ways in which paternity is established in Minnesota. The first is through what is called a Recognition of Parentage. The second is through genetic testing.
Recognition of Parentage is when both parents sign a sworn statement that says the man is the father of the child. This document has to be filed with the Minnesota Department of health in order to be valid. If the mother is not married to another person and the parents are at least 18 years of age, the statement is final. This document can be completed at any time. However, it is best to speak with your Duluth family law lawyer before signing this document to ensure it is the best course of action to take.
In some cases, genetic testing may be the best course of action. This may be the case when one parent does not want to sign a Recognition of Parentage or there may be more than one man claiming to be the father of the child. Genetic testing may also be required when the mother was married to someone else at the time the child was born. The court will evaluate the evidence, including any genetic tests, and the past relationship between the possible father and the mother. You can ask for the genetic test if you feel that it is necessary, but you do not have to have one in order to establish paternity of the child.
No matter the issue surrounding paternity, your Duluth family law lawyer can help you address it. While these matters can sometimes move smoothly, there are times when they are met with conflict and that can result in the need for legal advice that will point you in the right direction. This is so you can receive a fair outcome in the matter that will allow you to move forward.
Paternity is a very sensitive issue in that establishing paternity also establishes parental rights. It is also an opportunity for a father to financially support his child through child support. If you need to establish paternity for any reason, you can receive the help you need by utilizing the assistance of an experienced Duluth paternity lawyer. To learn more about how the Benjamin Kaasa Law Office, PLLC can help you, call 218-464-3397 for a free consultation.