Nashville Paternity Lawyer
Our Dedicated Parentage Attorney Handles Cases in Chatham, Davidson County, Montgomery County, Sumner County, Robertson County, Williamson County, Wilson County, and Throughout Middle Tennessee
Establishing paternity essentially means determining the legal father of a child, and it can be a complex process. Paternity cases are concerned with determining the legal father of a child. This is sometimes within the context of child support payments, but it can also be for establishing the rights and obligations of a child’s legal father. It is important to note that although every child has a biological father, not every child has a legal father since paternity is a legal concept and can be revoked, surrendered, or canceled, depending on the circumstances. Our Nashville paternity lawyer is just a call away, however, so contact our parentage attorney for assistance with your paternity case.
Table of Contents
- A Parentage Attorney Can Help You Establish Paternity
- Our Nashville Paternity Lawyer Can Handle the Entire Parentage Process for You from Start to Finish
- Enjoy the Benefits of Establishing Paternity with the Assistance of Our Experienced Nashville Paternity Lawyer
- Our Parentage Attorney Will Help You Take That Very Important First Step
- Frequently Asked Questions About Parentage Attorney Services in Nashville
A Parentage Attorney Can Help You Establish Paternity
If a child’s parents are married when their child is born, the mother’s husband is considered to be the child’s legal father and his name will be written on the child’s birth certificate. However, if the parents of a child are not married to each other when their child is born, then the father’s name can only be added to the child’s birth certificate and the father can only have his rights over the child as its father after paternity is established.
Until a child whose parentage is in doubt turns 21, paternity for the child can be established voluntarily or involuntarily. A couple can voluntarily establish paternity if both the mother and father agree and declare that the father is the child’s biological father. They can do so by signing a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. This is what typically happens in the hospital when a child is born, but the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form can also be obtained and signed at a later date, such as at a child support office or the local health department after the child is born.
As for the involuntary establishment of paternity, this process is usually conducted via court proceedings, resulting in the issuance of what is called an order of parentage. DNA testing is also involved.
Our Nashville Paternity Lawyer Can Handle the Entire Parentage Process for You from Start to Finish
The parentage process begins with the filing of a petition to establish parentage. This petition must be filed at a court located in the same county where either the mother, father, or child resides. The parties that can file this petition include the mother, the assumed father, the child (via a guardian), or the Tennessee Department of Human Services (which would be the case if the child receives public assistance). The mother and assumed father can file a petition for any reason. This can be because they want to identify the father for child support, inheritance, or other personal reasons, or for seeking custody or parental rights of the child.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court can order DNA testing of the mother, father, and child to determine the child’s biological father. Alongside paternity proceedings, the court can also issue directives for child custody, visitation times, and child support amounts for the same case.
Enjoy the Benefits of Establishing Paternity with the Assistance of Our Experienced Nashville Paternity Lawyer
There are many benefits to establishing paternity beyond simply having the father’s name on his child’s birth certificate. Many benefits accrue to the mother, father, and child, such as:
- Enabling the fostering of a relationship with both biological parents;
- Allowing the child to learn about their family history, including their medical histories;
- Providing the family with access to financial benefits such as insurance, inheritance, Social Security, and Veterans/military benefits;
- Fairly and equitably share the responsibilities of parenthood between both parents;
- Share the costs of raising the child, since a father whose paternity has been established can be ordered to pay child support.
Our Parentage Attorney Will Help You Take That Very Important First Step
If you are a mother and want to establish who your child’s father is or if you think you may be the biological father of a child, we encourage you to speak with an attorney. The Nashville paternity lawyer with Brighter DaySM Law can help you establish legal paternity via a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, failing which we can help you file a petition in the relevant court so that legal proceedings – including DNA testing – can be initiated.
While every case is different, our deep experience in family law and paternity cases will help in swiftly and successfully moving your case forward. Call our parentage lawyer today to learn more about how we can help you and why you may want to file a parentage petition and what to expect as your case progresses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Parentage Attorney Services in Nashville
It depends on why you filed a parentage petition. Depending on your case, you may wish to file for child support payments from the child’s father after his parentage is established, or as the father, you may wish to seek child custody and/or visitation rights to your child. Parents can also file for their inheritance and other benefits from their father once the father’s paternity is established.
It can take a few months, so be prepared to work with our parentage attorney as we gather evidence, file the relevant paperwork, and work per the guidelines and timelines determined by the court for your case.
Remember that once a person’s parentage is established, it can become publicly accessible knowledge. The father would obviously be privy to the parentage determination in a voluntary case, and he would also find out if court orders and/or DNA testing are used. He can then seek shared custody of his children and visitation rights, and the lives of the current parent – usually the mother – can come under scrutiny as well. If the mother cannot care for the child or has personal or financial problems including addiction, a history of abuse, or incompetence, they may face counter-proceedings from the father. Speak with our Nashville paternity lawyer for assistance with these complex matters.