Teaneck Paternity Lawyer
Every child in Teaneck deserves the best possible chance to have a healthy and nurturing childhood. Studies have consistently shown that a child who has two parents in their lives has a significantly greater chance of achieving these goals.
Unfortunately, the identity of a child’s father is not always clear. While the law presumes fatherhood for children born into wedlock, it is still possible for men to deny fatherhood in any situation. In some other situations, mothers may ask that the court perform a paternity test to determine if a man is a biological father.
The outcome of these proceedings could have a monumental impact on the entire family’s life. A Teaneck paternity lawyer could help both men and women to answer key questions concerning the identity of a child’s father.
Why is Establishing Paternity Important?
The laws in Teaneck state that every parent has an equal responsibility to care for the welfare of their children. According to New Jersey Revised Statute §9:2-4, both parents also have an equal right to share custody over a child. As a result, identifying a child’s biological father has immense consequences on the lives of three parties.
Parents are also expected to share an equitable portion of the child’s expenses, and if they are separated, the father may be expected to make child support payments. Additionally, after establishing a father-child relationship, that child would then have legal status as the man’s heir in probate proceedings.
As soon as the father is asked to make child support payments, he immediately gains the ability to seek child custody from a mother. Because courts presume that a joint custody arrangement is best for a child, it is not unusual for a father to push for those rights. A Teaneck paternity attorney could provide more information about the legal ramifications of a positive paternity test.
How Does a Man Become the Legal Father of a Child?
Establishing the paternity of a child can occur in one of two ways. The most common is for parents to acknowledge that a man is the father of a child, but if the child is born to a marriage, the husband is presumed to be the legal father. However, the husband does have the ability to deny fatherhood by completing an affidavit of denial of paternity. If both a man and mother accept that a man is the father of a child, the law will generally accept this fact by default.
The other way to establish paternity is through a court case. Either a man or a woman can ask a family court to issue a judgment of paternity that makes the man the legal father of the child. To establish a basis for this judgment, a court may order parties to submit to a DNA test. In addition to the DNA evidence, a court may also consider other forms of evidence that include:
- The nature of the relationship between man and child
- The age of the child
- The length of time between the court case and the man learning that he might be a father
- The facts surrounding the case that led to doubt in paternity
A Teaneck paternity attorney could help both men and women to determine the true parentage of a child.
A Teaneck Paternity Lawyer Could Help Clarify Paternity
A man who is the father of a child has equal rights to the mother concerning custody, visitation, and the ability to demand child support. On the other hand, fathers must provide all appropriate support if they do not hold physical custody.
A Teaneck paternity lawyer may be able to help you. They can work to explain the State’s paternity laws and what a person must do to establish the paternity of a child. While the law may presume fatherhood in some situations, any man may contest their fatherhood in court. At the same time, any woman who has good faith cause to believe a man to be a father can ask a court to order DNA testing. Contact a Teaneck paternity lawyer today to schedule an appointment.