In a growing number of instances, children are being born out of wedlock. More and more couples are deciding to forego marriage, but to live as if they had tied the knot. For some, this includes having children. When the couple stays together and raises the kids as a family unit, fewer problems arise. But, when a couple with a child separates after having not been married, several legal issues can develop.
One of the most common issues that arise when an unmarried couple with a child splits is that of paternity. To establish paternity, the following two methods are frequently considered acceptable:
- Having the father execute a form acknowledging paternity at the hospital, when the child is born.
- Giving the child the last name of the father, and publicly acknowledging the child as the legitimate offspring of the dad.
While doing both of these things is a step in the right direction, the simple truth is that without a legal determination of paternity, a father may be giving up parental rights. To get this process started, a petition to establish paternity must be filed with the Courts. Thereafter, evidence is presented in support of the petition and the Court will enter an order as to paternity. The case should include a request to determine issues such as custody, support, and visitation. This is the only way a father can be assured he has the legal authority to exercise his rights as the child’s dad. Take action to protect your rights as a father by calling our office for help in obtaining a judicial determination of paternity.
For more information about establishing paternity, call us today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.