When parents are unmarried or there is suspicion of infidelity, paternity testing may be necessary in order to establish custody and child support. There are a lot of things to consider when you and your partner are splitting up with children involved. Our Rochester family law attorney Michelle Cimino can help shed light on what to expect.
Please keep reading to learn about family law and paternity. We would be glad to get you set up with a consultation right away if you have more questions or you need a lawyer. Call us right away to get started.
Do We Need Paternity Testing?
As mentioned, unmarried parents are going to need to get a paternity test if they are going through a separation. This needs to happen in order to legally prove that they are the father of the baby and are legally obligated to them.
If someone is not the biological parent of the child, they do not legally have to pay child support and they will not be going through litigation for custody.
One exception for this is if the man already has himself established as a father figure with the child. The court may determine that getting a paternity test back with a result that shows they share no biological relation can harm the child because there is already a relationship between the two.
Another reason why someone might not need a paternity test is if both parents submit an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) which will establish paternity. It is basically a document that both parties agree the partner is the biological father of the child.
However, if you submit an AOP and it turns out that you are not the father, you have 60 days to back out of this. If you find out, for example, a year later, you going to need the help of a lawyer.
While a partner may want to take a paternity test to avoid paying child support for a child who is not theirs, the mother can legally prevent them from taking one if they already have a relationship with the child. This is called equitable estoppel.
What Happens After Paternity Testing?
If it is established that the father is the biological parent of the child and the two of you are separated, you will be able to proceed with custody and child support litigation. The court will determine the child support payments and custody arrangements based on each party’s circumstances.
If it is established that the father is not the biological parent of the child, and there is no established relationship between the child and father, then there is technically no legal obligation to pay child support or share custody.
We understand that each case has a large range of variables that will affect the outcome. We have handled all types of paternity testing cases. We can help you too.
Call Our Rochester Family Law Attorney Today
If you are seeking more information about paternity testing in regard to family law, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are here to help you get the desired outcome.