Having the right paternity lawyer representing your case can be crucial to you and your child receiving the outcome you deserve. Whether you are the mother or father, your rights under the law are clear but a paternity action is the only way to settle related matters legally. We can help. Give us a call today.
Having a child carries with it great responsibilities and certain rights for both the mother and the father. In the legal sense of the word, paternity describes the determination of a child’s father – including all of the father’s associated obligations and rights with respect to the child. As the legal father of a child, you may be required to provide child support. You may also have custody or visitation rights, but these do not come automatically and must be granted by the court.
Under Massachusetts law, the biological mother of a child born out of wedlock has sole custody of a child until the court determines otherwise. In the eyes of the law, the procedure to establish fatherhood is called a paternity action. The mother or the father of a child can initiate a paternity action. If the court orders it, the father and child must submit to a DNA test. Alternatively, a man can admit in court documents to being the father or may have already consented by signing the birth certificate.
While in some cases paternity is not in dispute, there may be a disagreement among the parents regarding the best living or financial arrangements for the child. The same legal principles that apply in divorce proceedings are used to deal with custody and support cases.
Some parents who informally agree as to how custody, support and visitation should be managed may think just because they have something in writing that they are covered. In Massachusetts, informal agreements about about these matters are not enforceable. Filing a paternity action is the only way to legally ensure your child’s right to parental care and support while also protecting your rights as a parent.
Paternity cases can be extremely difficult not only on the child but the parents. Knowing your rights under the law and having representation with experience dealing with these matters can make all the difference in the world. The team at Argos Legal Group always has the best interests of the child and their family in mind. Reach out to us today to set up a time to talk with a paternity attorney about your case.