Fatherhood can be an important part of the lives of both children and fathers. However, some fathers may encounter legal hurdles. If you and the child’s mother were not married when your child was born, you might not have the legal authority to make critical parental decisions.
Regardless of your relationship with your child’s mother or guardian, you may seek to establish paternity and exercise your parental rights. At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our family law attorneys can help you understand how paternity could affect your life and navigate this process with you.
Fathers gain several rights through paternity, such as the ability to:
In addition, the child gains legal rights through paternity, including the ability to receive benefits and inherit assets through probate after the father’s death. The child can also benefit from child support payments when applicable. Furthermore, access to family medical history on the father’s side can help the child monitor their health throughout their life.
Child support may be necessary after establishing paternity. However, the legal rights and emotional value that you can gain from paternity could outweigh the concerns about child support, and further legal counsel can help you protect your child and the money for their care if necessary.
Fathers lose the chance to establish paternity once the child turns 18 years old. If you are ready to seek paternity, we can help you complete the process, which involves DNA testing and court filing. If you are an unmarried father who is expecting a child soon, you can alternatively sign a document that declares paternity at the time of the child’s birth.
Mothers can also seek to establish paternity — often to ensure that the child is financially secure. Although the process is different when mothers initiate it, we can work with you through each step.
We are here to advocate for you despite legal or family-related obstacles. Call (480) 503-9217 or email our law firm to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Gilbert and Queen Creek, Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, serves clients across Arizona.