Murfreesboro, Tennessee Paternity Lawyers Help Obtain Recognition for Your Child
Your child has the right to a legal father
You know who fathered your child. But, legally no one else does. He is not listed on your child’s birth certificate. For this reason, your child does not receive the many legal and social benefits he or she would have otherwise.
If you want your child to accrue the benefits of having a legal father, you must go through the process of establishing paternity. Our caring Murfreesboro Tennessee paternity lawyers guide you through this process. We have decades of experience in paternity law. Our goal is to help you ensure that your child has access to every advantage to which he or she is entitled.
How do you establish paternity in Tennessee?
If a child’s parents are married to each other when the child is born, then her husband is legally presumed to be the father. Even if the couple is divorced, this presumption applies for 300 days after the entry of a final divorce decree. The husband or former husband’s name is listed as the father on the birth certificate.
If the parents are not married when the child is born, then, in Tennessee, paternity must be established through a voluntary or an involuntary process. Only after paternity is legally established may the father’s name be added to the child’s birth certificate.
Voluntary: Paternity may be established voluntarily through the agreement of the mother and father. Each parents signs a form entitled the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity in front of a notary. The form is then sent to the Office of Vital Records. Once the form is filed, the father is considered the legal father and his name is added to the child’s birth certificate.
Involuntary: When any party is reluctant to admit paternity, you must go through a court proceeding. The process begins when you file a Petition to Establish Parentage in a court in the county where the mother, the father, or the child lives. If any party denies or is uncertain of paternity, the court may order DNA testing. If the results of DNA testing establish fatherhood, the court issues an Order of Parentage. This document recognizes the father the legal father and adds his name to the child’s birth certificate. During an involuntary proceeding, the court may also issue orders of custody, visitation, and child support.
Going through an involuntary proceeding can feel nightmarish. Let our devoted paternity lawyers support you through this sensitive process.
The importance of establishing paternity
There are many reasons why you should legally establish the paternity of your child. In addition to the convenience of having a father’s name on a child’s birth certificate, there are other substantial rewards for the father, the mother, and the child.
Advantages for the father: The father now has legal rights to the child. He may request visitation or custody. More important, the father establishes a paternal bond with his child and actively participates in the child’s life.
Advantages for the mother: Once paternity is established, the mother no longer need to bear the financial, emotional, and legal responsibilities of raising the child alone. She can request court-ordered child support.
Advantages for the child: Your child may forge a relationship with his or her father. This bond gives your child important access to an entire family history, including valuable medical information. Through a father your child also may be eligible for certain other benefits, like inheritance, Social Security, and Veteran’s benefits.
Providing for your child has always been important to you. Let our determined paternity lawyer’s help you secure all the advantages owed to your child.
Murfreesboro paternity attorneys want the best for your child
We know that no one cares more for your child than you. Establishing legal paternity starts your child on the right path to a successful future. Our adept Murfreesboro paternity lawyers at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley support you through this process. Contact us today at 615-893-1331 or online.