Divorce in the wake of extramarital affairs is most often charged with raging emotions. Infidelity that results in a pregnancy is even more complicated, because then the wellbeing of the child must be considered, as well as the legal ramifications for the biological parents. Sometimes paternity is challenged years after a child is born, adding a layer of complexity to the case. In marriages legalized in the state of Alabama, the wife cannot challenge paternity of a child conceived within a marriage, but the husband can. Outside of a marriage, a woman can allege paternity and a man may do the same.
Determining paternity is critical because fathers have certain legal obligations to their children until the children are either nineteen years old, self-supportive, or married.
Unless paternity is challenged, the husband is presumed to be the father of children born within a marriage. However, if a husband believes infidelity has occurred, he can challenge the paternity of his wife’s child. If a child conceived during the marriage turns out to not be the biological child of the husband, the husband is neither entitled to custody or visitation rights, nor obliged to pay child support. However, the husband may agree to assume the responsibility as parent. This might happen in a case where the biological father is granted child support but not entitled to custody rights. Biological fathers are often part of the court process, to establish what the child support obligations will be. Often the court rules that it is in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both parents, in which case some measure of custody or visitation rights would be granted both to the biological father and mother. A husband may also assume the role of father, by agreeing to have his name placed on the birth certificate or by acknowledging paternity through an affidavit.
Whether the paternity case is connected to a divorce case or not, it is critical to have a trusted legal team backing your process to make sure that agreements are clear and binding and that possible loopholes and gray areas are properly covered. At the Zwiebel Law Firm, we make it our goal to bring as much peace, clarity, and stability to your situation as possible. Our passion is the wellbeing of all of our clients, and achieving the best possible outcome for our clients and their children.
Because paternity cases, especially when coupled with divorce cases, most often cause high levels of stress and emotions, we’re here to make sure that our clients are not taken advantage of or forced to give in to an unfair agreement through pressure from the other party.
If you wish to allege or challenge the paternity of a child, you can rest assured that we are here to fight for not just your case, but for the best interests of you and the child. Give us a call to learn more about how you can challenge paternity, and the clearest way forward from there: (205) 623-1001
The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
826 Columbiana Road
Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: (205) 623-1001