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Questions about Paternity Law and Paternity Rights

In most cases, legal recognition of paternity by the court is that the father is responsible for monetary support of the child in accordance with each state’s child support guidelines. The father also has the right for legal, enforceable visitation. Many times paternity acknowledgement is used to establish and enforce child support when custody is granted to the mother. The provisions of paternity laws and their application to individual cases can lead to legal questions like the ones below.

In Indiana, can someone be forced to pay child support if they didn’t know they had a child for 17 years?

In the state of Indiana the law on paternity declares that paternity action must be enforced within two years after the birth of the child. If there was no child support filed during this time frame, in most cases child support cannot be filed after 17 years.

In California, does the parent of a child have to let the other parent take the child if the custodial parent is not paying child support or if the child is in danger?

In California, if the parent feel as if their child may be in danger, the petitioning parent can request that the other parent has visitation of the child but does not take the child out of their sight until the court decides otherwise. As for the child support, the petitioning parent can go before the judge, and the judge can set a minimum amount if the other parent is not working. If the other parent is working then the judge usually takes out a percentage of the wages as child support. However, visitation rights cannot be taken away without a court order due to lack of child support.

If a parent has moved out of state, how long do they have to file for a paternity petition?

There is no predefined time window set for a parent to file a petition for paternity. However, if the parent waits too long, the court may probably not recognize or award it. The law on the timeframe differs from state to state.

Is it illegal in the state of Illinois for a parent to get a DNA test on the child without the other parent knowing?

In Illinois, it is usually not considered illegal for a parent to get a DNA test on the child without the other parent’s knowledge, especially if the parent getting the DNA test has been taking care of the child since birth. It would usually be seen as their right to know for sure whether or not the child is actually theirs.

If someone lives in a different state, how do they go about suing for paternity if they don’t know the child’s name?

The person does not need to know a child’s name in order to sue for paternity. However, the person needs to file the case in the state where the child resides.

Parents need to keep in mind that acknowledgment of paternity doesn’t always establish legal court recognized paternity rights. Establishing paternity rights should always be sought through court action in order to create a permanent record on file. There are many different names used to acknowledge paternity: Declaration of Paternity, Recognition of Parentage (ROP), Paternity Establishment, Paternity Opportunity Program (POP), and A Simple Acknowledgment of Paternity (ASAP Program). Differing state laws, a number of process and programs and the uniqueness of individual cases can all lead to legal uncertainty.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9513
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Family Lawyers are Online Now

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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 9484
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 7405
I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 7143
30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Recent Paternity Questions

  • My 3 year old son's father has not been evolved in our son's

    My 3 year old son's father has not been evolved in our son's life since pregnancy. I received an email from him on 1/13/15 that I should mail him our son's birth certificate and is requesting a DNA test. He said that I need to send this info within 2 weeks or he will have no other choice but to take me to court. Since my son's father was not involved during pregnancy, I never put his name on the birth certificate. I suspect that he needs this information because of Obama making it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the country if they have a young child living in the U.S. My son's father is from Jamaica. I would like to respond to his request, but my parents advised me to consult a lawyer first. What pitfalls could happen if I give into his request? Do you think that he can make a fake birth certificate if I give it to him. I am 1000% positive that he is my son's father. I have no problem taking a DNA test. I would be happy if my son was able to have his father around but I am worried about my parent's concerns that communicating him would backfire. By the way, I am 44 years old. We were briefly married but I filed for divorce shortly after I married him.
  • I live in Massachusetts and my girlfriend want to relocate to me in Massachusetts with her

    I live in Massachusetts and my girlfriend want to relocate to me in Massachusetts with her child. She is currently in AZ. She was never married to the child's father and he does not pay court ordered child support and does not have paternity rights. She is the sole custodian but he is however on the birth certificate and the child has his last name, the child is also on his health insurance. 1. Can she move without his permission? 2. Can he take her to court and partial custody? 3. Does the situation change if her and I were married in Massachusetts? I also want to be clear that he is not a bad person and we have no intentions of estranging him from his child, we just have better opportunities in Massachusetts.
  • , I am 19 years old born in Israel. My father left my

    Hello,
    I am 19 years old born in Israel. My father left my mother before I was born, mother never got any form on child support and never established paternity. My biological father currently live in Massachusetts and mother in Wisconsin. I want to establish paternity and maybe change my birth certificate currently doesn't contain any info about father. Can I do it? If yes I want to know am I eligible for any kind of child support while I am full time student.
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