We believe that families come in all shapes and sizes. It does not matter what your family looks like; children deserve loving parents who will provide for them, care for them, and love them throughout their lives. For some individuals, establishing paternity is necessary to play a role in a child’s life. If you find yourself in this situation, our New Jersey paternity lawyer will help.
We have years of experience helping fathers establish their legal rights so they can play a role in their child’s life.
Our firm has years of experience helping our clients with all types of family law matters. We will work to protect your rights and interests at each step of the legal process.
Establishing Paternity in New Jersey
In some situations, cases of paternity are not about biology. Instead, it focuses on your obligations and rights as a child’s father. There are situations where paternity cases involve biology. For example, if a mother is trying to enforce the parental obligations of their child’s father. However, in many situations, cases of paternity relate to legality.
According to the law in New Jersey, if two people are legally married, both individuals are considered the parent of a child born during the marriage. It is possible to challenge this assumption in the state, and other legal options exist for establishing paternity in New Jersey.
The other methods that can be used to establish paternity in New Jersey include the following:
- Court-ordered DNA testing
- Signing a certificate of parentage at the county registrar, county welfare office, or hospital
Even if you have voluntarily admitted that you are a child’s father, it is necessary to sign the birth certificate.
The Legal Importance of Establishing Paternity in Neptune, New Jersey
Legally establishing paternity is important for all parties, the mother, father, and child. The legal father of a child has a right to shared parenting time, which may mean visitation or legal or physical child custody. A man who established himself as a legal father will also have the legal obligation to support the child in question.
Other obligations and benefits of establishing paternity include the following:
- Allow for the child to receive coverage from the health insurance provided by the father’s employer.
- Protect the child’s ability to receive government benefits based on their family status (i.e., Social Security survivor benefits).
- Protect a father’s right to take an active role in important decisions about the child’s life.
- Allow the child’s mother the right to receive child support and financial benefits for their child.
- Allow the father to have the legal right to sue for custody of the child.
- Allow the child to have the legal right to inherit their father’s property upon their death.
After paternity is established, both parents will share the rights and obligations accompanying parenthood.
It is worth noting that the courts in New Jersey (and many other states) support both parents playing active roles in a child’s life.
Potential Disputes Related to Paternity
Once paternity has been established, it is not unusual for disputes to arise.
In these situations, it is always what is in the child’s best interests that the courts will consider.
One example is if a mother wants to establish New Jersey paternity so they can enforce New Jersey support laws. However, she also decides that she does not want to allow the father to have involvement in the child’s life. While this is true, the only way that her wishes would be upheld is if the mother can show good reason for the father not to be involved, such as neglect, violence, or something similar.
How Our Paternity Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
When you contact our law firm for help establishing paternity in New Jersey, we can provide several services. Along with legal assistance, our team can provide advice and guidance to help you with your case.
Some of the legal issues related to paternity we can help with include the following:
- Establishing paternity via genetic testing or signing a birth certificate
- Modification or enforcement of court orders related to child custody, visitation, or support
- Paternity complaints or disputes in court
- Visitation and custody matters for legal fathers
- Child support matters
We understand that parents want what is best for their children. You can depend on our New Jersey paternity lawyer to help you with your case and to ensure that it is handled properly.
Understanding Paternity Law in New Jersey
A man will be considered a father when the court has entered a judgment of adoption or a judgment of paternity by the court. This will show that the man is the father of the child. If the child’s parents are not married, then legal paternity can be shown when both parents sign the COP – Certificate of Parentage. This is a statement made by both individuals that indicate they believe a man is the child’s father. The COP is then filed with the State Registrar.
If paternity has not been established, the court assumes certain things based on available evidence. The legal presumptions related to paternity include the following:
- For situations where a child’s parents are married within 300 days of their birth, the husband of the child’s mother when it was born is presumed to be the father. The man is also presumed to be the father if he divorced the mother or died up to 300 days before the child was born.
- If a couple marries after the birth of the child, if the husband lets others know that the child is theirs biologically, agrees to pay the mother child support, lists his name on the child’s birth certificate, or acknowledges they are the parent by sending a signed document to the state registrar.
- If a child’s parents are unmarried, but the man tells others he is the child’s father and provides support before the child turns 18.
- In situations where a woman’s husband who is not the biological father is considered the father if the biological mother and father sign the COP, and then the mother and husband sign the Denial of Parentage and file these forms.
- Married couples are presumed to be a child’s legal parents when they are married, a husband agrees for his wife to undergo artificial insemination, and a licensed physician handles the insemination.
Contact Our Neptune, New Jersey Paternity Lawyer for Help with Paternity Related Issues
If you have questions about paternity in New Jersey or wish to establish the paternity of a child, our legal firm can help. New Jersey paternity issues can be complex, and we can help you with each step of the legal process.
We have years of experience providing services for couples dealing with paternity issues and are ready to help you. Contact us to set up an initial consultation today.