A Legal Guide for Paternity
Paternity refers to the legal process of establishing the relationship between a father and the child, a process that can often be challenging legally-speaking.
That’s because paternity impacts the father’s rights when it comes to adoption, custody, child support, health care, and inheritance. Our team at the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter can help you navigate the complexities that arise when determining paternity and how it impacts your family going forward.
Generally speaking, if a child is born in a marriage, the couple is considered the legal parents. However, it’s a different case with unmarried couples having a baby: legal measures are required for establishing benefits and rights for both parents and children.
One way to establish paternity is for couples to marry after the child’s birth, which in most cases automatically legitimates the child as legally theirs. Often times, unmarried couples also decide to sign the “affidavit of parentage” which is a voluntary, legally binding document which gives both parents the right to child custody.
Once parentage has been assigned, the only valid reason to withdrawal this affidavit is if the child is not biologically related, which is why establishing paternity is so important during this process. You may be required to get a court-recognized paternity test (In North Carolina, methods include SWAB Test and DNA Genetic Identity) to verify your relation to the child if there is a question of biological paternity.
If you’re considering an attorney for your paternity process, contact the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter for professional and compassionate support.