Legal Paternity Is Necessary To Enforce Certain Rights

Every child has a biological father. However, not every child has a legal father. Paternity is nothing more than who is the legal father of the child. Being the legal father is important for issues concerning child support, custody and visitation. If the parents are married, then the husband is presumed to be the legal father of the child. If the husband denies he is the father, then he should contact the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall immediately for a further explanation of his rights.

How Do You Establish Paternity In Pennsylvania?

If the parents are not married, then the usual way to establish paternity is by signing a form from the Department of Public Welfare. This form is usually signed at the hospital or at the birthing center. If both the mother and the father voluntarily agree as to the identity of the biological father, then legal custody of the father has been established.

If the mother and the father cannot agree as to the identity of the father, then biological testing is needed. Biological testing is relatively speaking, a quick and easy way to determine the biological father necessary to establish paternity.

Paternity Is Not Always A Simple Determination In Today's Society

However, in today's society there are many issues regarding paternity, and if there has been no acknowledgement of paternity, issues can become very complicated.

For example, if you have been "acting" as the father of the child for a number of years by providing both financial support for the child as well as performing the parental duties of the child, the mother may not simply later say "this man has no legal right to the child." This is called "paternity by estoppel."

Similarly, if you have been "acting" as the father of the child for a number of years, you cannot later say "I am not the father of this child" if there is no other father around.

When it comes to paternity, the issue (and other family law issues) can become much more complicated than simply looking at the name of the father on the birth certificate. Be sure to contact the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall to know your rights at 814-308-0422.