Law Offices Of Andrew Merlo, P.A.


(561) 893-9993

Law Offices Of Andrew Merlo, P.A.

What Is Involved In A Paternity Suit?

A paternity case typically occurs when a child is born and the parents of that child are not married. If a child is born to a mother who is married, the court system deems the husband of the mother to be the father. If the married woman has a child with a partner who is not her husband, there are steps that must be taken to change that presumption. If an unmarried couple needs to make an arrangement for time sharing and decision making powers for their child, they file a paternity suit. Sometimes, this might include getting the father of the child added to important documentation as well, such as the child’s birth certificate.

What Types Of Issues Are Resolved By A Petition To Establish Paternity?

The filing of an initial petition grants the father of the child equal parental rights with the mother of the child. This is the first step in most paternity cases. Signing a birth certificate is not necessary enough to ensure that you as a father have all of the rights that are due to you. Your attorney can help you to take appropriate action to make sure that you obtain rights to your child.

What Happens After Paternity Has Been Established?

Once it has been acknowledged that a parent has rights, issues such as a parenting plan, time sharing, child support, health insurance, major life decisions, and other details are then formalized. Your attorney will help you get the most out of your agreement. It is always best to be protected and have someone who is fighting to make sure that you achieve your goals in reaching an agreement that is best for you and your child.

Do I Have To Take A DNA Test To Establish Paternity?

Not necessarily. If both the mother and father agree on paternity, then genetic testing is not necessary. If either party does doubt the genetic paternity of the child, then the court will order a DNA test prior to establishing parental rights.

Can A Mother File For Paternity?

Absolutely! If you have a child then that child has a father and that father is responsible for caring for his child. You can file a petition for paternity and the court will order a DNA test if the father of your child disputes the petition. This will allow you to pursue financial support for your child, even if the father doesn’t want to be involved in the child’s life. Keep in mind however that you cannot just seek child support without the establishment of parental rights. If a father is given rights, he has obligations and rights to see his child unless he voluntarily waives those rights or the courts deem that person to be unfit in some way.

I Am Financially Responsible For A Child That I Just Found Out Is Not Mine. What Do I Do?

Contact your attorney. In some cases, the courts will disestablish paternity, but it is a more complicated and limited process than establishing paternity. Your attorney is the best person to help you and in the long run will likely be less expensive than supporting a child for a number of years who you are not actually supposed to be supporting.

The Mother Of My Child Wants To Place My Child Up For Adoption. What Do I Do?

Contact your attorney immediately. If you want to maintain your parental rights for your child, you need to act right away to establish paternity. If a mother doesn’t acknowledge that you are the father of her child before pursuing adoption placement, then no one else but you knows that you are the father of your child and no one will notify you that an adoption is taking place. Your attorney can file emergency documentation to prevent an adoption in order to establish your rights to your child first if you want to take responsibility for that child.

For more information on Paternity, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 893-9993 today.

Andrew Merlo, Esq.

Call For A Free 30 Min Case Evaluation
(561) 893-9993