Paternity in New Jersey
The standard definition of a father is someone has legal rights and obligations towards the child. They have a right to a relationship with the child and they will also have the obligation to support the child. Paternity is determined in New Jersey in several ways. It could be through a court-ordered paternity test. If someone is listed on the birth certificate, that would indicate paternity.
Additionally, if a child has an adoptive father, they do not have biological paternity, but they are legally considered parents. To truly establish paternity, the status must be decided by a state agency or a court. An experienced father’s rights attorney could help fight for paternity rights for father figures in a child’s life.
New Jersey Paternity Testing
Testing for paternity may be necessary if there is any question of the rights and responsibilities of a father to a child. If it is proven that a man is the father of a child, they may be obligated to pay child support while potentially gaining the right to visitation or custody. Paternity tests are usually genetic.
To test paternity, the court will enter an order and send the person to a specific genetic testing center that is affiliated with the court. The court will then oversee and regulate official paternity testing. It is important that testing for paternity in New Jersey can only be done up to the age of 23 to affect rights and responsibilities.
A father should consider taking a paternity test in New Jersey if they are being asked for child support and that they have doubts as to whether the child is actually theirs. Another reason for establishing paternity in New Jersey would be if they believe a child to be theirs, and they want to establish access to the child, but the other side is disputing whether they are the father. There is also a presumption of paternity if a child is born during a marriage or if the child was born within 10 months following the mother’s divorce or if the husband is dead. It is assumed to be the mother’s husband’s child.
The Legal Implications of Establishing Paternity in New Jersey
The legal implications of paternity test results are that if someone is found to be the father of a child, they have a financial responsibility to that child. They cannot denounce or shirk this obligation. They also have a right to have access and have a relationship with the child.
A paternity test could be used in a child custody case as if it is established that an individual is not the father, then that usually takes away their rights for custody. An exception is if it can be established that that man in question has been a psychological parent meaning that they have raised the child and that they have played an integral part as a parent with the child. Additionally, if there was a prior agreement or if the child was adopted, the man may be required to pay child support even if the results of the tests indicate that he is not biologically related to the child.
Once paternity in New Jersey is established, fathers have the right to develop a relationship with the child and the extent of that relationship and the exposure to the child. A father can ensure that his parental rights are protected in a New Jersey child custody or support case by hiring an experienced paternity lawyer with experience navigating the family legal system.
How a Lawyer Could Help With Paternity Issues in New Jersey
A parent should consider contacting New Jersey paternity lawyers if they are trying to prove paternity in a child custody case to establish a strategy for success. This applies for access to the child or establishing the appropriate amount of child support when paternity has been established. As a father, you have a right to see your child and your child support payments should be just.
If you are required to pay child support but you do not think that you are the father, getting a paternity test and working with an attorney may offer relief from child support payments. A skilled attorney could serve as your advocate and advisor. Call today to get the help you need to take care of your child or arrange for an appropriate child support agreement.