PATERNITY ACTIONS; WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
In today’s society, it has become common and widely accepted for couples to have children without being married. As such, these fathers inevitably find that their rights to visit and parent their children are challenged once these relationships end.
Paternity actions are the only way to legally establish a father's rights.There is a misconception that just because your name appears on the birth certificate of the child that this automatically makes you the "legal" father of the child. This is not always the case. If two people are not married, have a child, and the father's name is on the birth certificate - this just helps to establish that you are the "biological" father of the child. Unfortunately, the law distinguishes being the biological father and being the legal father. The biological father is simply the man who in fact fathered the child but the legal father is the man who has established the responsibility and right of parenthood. This can be established through adoption, marriage or Court Order. Therefore, if you are unwed, unless the Court adjudicates you the legal father, your rights will continue to be challenged by the Mother. A paternity action is necessary to not only protect your rights as a father but the rights of the child as well.
How do I know what to do?These issues can be highly technical and fact specific. If you have further questions or need legal representation for yourself or a family member or friend, feel free to contact the attorneys at Sanchez and Eggebrecht, P.A. 24 hours a day/seven days a week. 407-803-5600.