Baton Rouge Paternity Lawyer

Baton Rouge Paternity Lawyer

Baton Rouge Paternity Attorney

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, spouses are assumed to be the legal parents of any child they have during their marriage. It can be more complicated for parents who are unmarried when they have a child together.

In order for the parent who didn’t carry the child to have parental rights, they must establish paternity. Establishing paternity is also necessary for a parent to be allowed custody and visitation rights and for a parent to be responsible for child support.

The attorneys at Magnolia Law understand that determining family rights can be potentially stressful, especially immediately after the birth of your child. It can be helpful to determine a plan to establish paternity with an experienced paternity attorney.

In some cases, parents are establishing the paternity of a child who has been born for some time, and they may even be at odds with each other. You’ll want a family lawyer on your side who has helped other families establish paternity in court.

At Magnolia Law, we can help you through the entire process. Establishing paternity in court can be complex, but it can allow parents to have essential rights and responsibilities to their children. We want to work for the interests of your family.

Baton Rouge Paternity Lawyer

Understanding Paternity Law

Paternity is establishing the legal and biological relationship between a parent and child. Married parents are presumed to be the biological parents of a child unless paternity is contested. When unmarried couples have a child, the parent who carries the child is considered the sole legal and biological parent unless paternity is established.

Even if the unmarried couple are in a committed and long-term relationship or even live together, the other parent does not have parental rights unless they are established. Luckily, if both parents are willing to establish the other parent’s paternity, the process is much easier.

How to Establish Paternity in Baton Rouge

There are two ways unmarried couples in Louisiana can establish paternity of their child: both parents can willingly sign an affidavit of acknowledgment, or the court can determine paternity when a claim is filed.

  • Affidavit of Acknowledgement of PaternityAn affidavit of acknowledgment is a declaration of paternity that both parents sign and then file. The affidavit needs to be signed in front of a witness, who must also sign. This declares the other parent as the legal and biological parent of the child and provides them with the legal rights and responsibilities to their child. The parent can be added to the child’s birth certificate after the affidavit is processed. These affidavits can usually be found at the hospital, but the parents can also declare paternity by filing the affidavit at a later date.
  • Court-Established PaternityIf either parent is unwilling to sign the affidavit or paternity is disputed, paternity can be determined through court. Filing a claim to establish paternity can be done by either the biological parent or the alleged other parent. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) may also file to establish paternity. This is generally done if one of the parents is receiving public benefits to gain child support. Court-established paternity is usually for the parents to assert their right to receive child support payments or their right to visitation and custody of their children. The court will order a DNA test to determine the biological connection between the child and the alleged parent. This is mandated, and the court uses this information to rule whether the alleged parent has established parental rights and responsibilities. The court may also issue orders for custody, visitation, and support.

How Does a Paternity Attorney Help With My Family Law Case?

Signing an affidavit in front of a witness is a fairly simple process. However, disputing or establishing paternity through the court can be much more complex, especially if you and the other parent or alleged parent have a contentious relationship.

When you work with a family law attorney who can provide compassionate and effective counsel during a court claim, it’s much easier to defend and protect your rights. An attorney can help you:

  • Help you to better understand your legal options
  • File your claim
  • Negotiate a settlement
  • Represent you in the court case if no settlement can be reached
  • Enforce court orders

Establishing paternity is necessary for many parents to receive essential child support payments and for other parents to earn rights and responsibilities for their children. You want an attorney who understands the stakes in family law claims like paternity actions and who works diligently to represent your interests in negotiation or in court.

The Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are several reasons why establishing paternity is beneficial for both parents and their children. This includes:

  • Their child has access to both parents’ healthcare and medical history. This is important if the child inherits a family condition. It also allows the child to potentially be on the other parent’s healthcare insurance.
  • Their child has access to child support from parents. If parents are separated, the child receives financial assistance through child support.
  • Their child can receive other financial benefits from both parents. Establishing paternity allows children to have inheritance rights for both parents. Otherwise, the child has no right to an alleged parent’s estate after they pass. It may also allow the child to qualify for other benefits, such as veteran’s benefits, life insurance, and pensions.

In addition to legal and financial benefits, it allows a child to have a relationship with both of their parents. This is often beneficial to both the parents and their child.

Contact Our Baton Rouge Paternity Lawyers Today

You may be hoping to establish paternity soon after your child’s birth or any time after. You may want to dispute an established assumed paternity or paternity declaration. At Magnolia Law, a Baton Rouge paternity lawyer can help.

The most optimal way to handle paternity actions quickly, effectively, and successfully is with a knowledgeable attorney. We always aim to provide compassionate representation and walk you through each part of establishing paternity.

The family law system can be complex, and you have a lot at stake. Contact Magnolia Law today to determine how we can advocate for your rights and interests in negotiation or litigation.