In some cases, a man may either allege paternity or a woman may allege that he is the father. These cases are critical as a man found to be the father has certain rights and responsibilities under the law. A man is presumed to be the father of any children born of his wife during their marriage or conceived during the marriage. He also may be presumed to be the father if he consented to the placement of his name on the birth certificate or acknowledges paternity through an affidavit of paternity.
If a husband believes that he is not the parent of a child conceived during marriage, he can challenge paternity. In these cases, the court will order a DNA test in order to establish paternity. Otherwise, however, the husband is presumed to be the father. It is important to note that a woman cannot challenge paternity of a child conceived during a marriage. If the husband chooses to take on the role of parent, he may do so. If the child is determined, by DNA testing, to not be the biological child of the husband, he is not entitled to custody nor is he responsible for paying child support. In these cases, the biological father can be made a part of the divorce proceedings in order to establish child support, or a separate case may be file.
Fathers should understand that just because the court awards child support and they are listed on the birth certificate, does not grant them visitation rights or custodial rights. If the father seeks visitation rights, for example, he must seek those through the courts. An Alabama family attorney can help a father seek the visitation that he deserves so that he can maintain a relationship with his child. In most cases, it is in the best interests of the child to have a relationship with both parents.
Cases of paternity can be complex and emotionally charged. In addition, the outcome is substantial both in terms of financial and emotional costs and benefits. Contact the Zwiebel Law Firm right away to learn about how you can determine paternity in your case.