Indiana paternity lawyer based in Fishers, Hamilton County, Indiana
PATERNITY LAWYER FISHERS HAMILTON COUNTY INDIANA
CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK
Although some divorce cases involve a lot of conflict and hostility, others may be quite civilized. This is less often the case with paternity cases, which typically involve higher levels of animosity between the parties. Many paternity relationships are of short duration – even one-night stands. There are some cases in which the parties live together for a reasonable length of time before breaking up.
Upon breakup, it is not uncommon for the mother (who has physical custody of the child by law) to decide that the father is no longer needed in the child’s life. On the other hand, sometimes the father wants nothing to do with the child and certainly does not want to pay child support. This dynamic can create some difficult issues with regard to the establishment of parenting time and child support.
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PATERNITY PROCESSES & PROCEDURES
UNDERSTANDING PATERNITY PROCEDURES
Paternity cases involve the same custody, parenting time, child support, relocation, and other issues that arise in a divorce case (other than the division of marital assets and debts). In general, the father is at a disadvantage since the paternity law gives the mother sole legal and physical custody of the child (unless the parties agree otherwise in a paternity affidavit). Fathers who want to be involved in their child’s life are well-advised to sign a paternity affidavit at the hospital when the child is born. This affidavit establishes paternity, gives custody to the mother, gives parenting time rights to the father, and establishes the father’s obligation to pay child support. No court order is needed, although the parenting time and child support obligations will not be enforceable until there is a court order.
If the father does not establish paternity by affidavit, then he will need to file a paternity case. There is a two-year time limit, although there are some important exceptions to this time limit. It is common for fathers to contact counsel after their relationship has broken up. However, even if the parties are in a live-in relationship, the father can better ensure his rights and the child’s rights are protected by contacting counsel as soon as possible after the child’s birth.
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Disclaimer: The results provided are not necessarily representative of the results or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.