Paternity

Determining paternity

Becoming a dad is life changing.  As a parent, you assume responsibility for the care of another human life.  At the law office of Julia Shalhoup in Charleston West Virginia, you get the advice you need to definitively establish or dispute paternity.  If you believe you have been wrongly identified as the father of a child, seek legal counsel.  An attorney can help you sort through your legal options.

DNA testing

Before DNA testing, courts recognized paternity based on marriage to the mother, affidavits, or a mother’s claim of exclusive sexual contact with the putative father.  Now, if a man wishes to establish—beyond a doubt—whether he is the father of a child or if a woman needs to establish paternity to obtain child support, DNA paternity testing is the preferred method.

Either the father or mother of a child can obtain a court order for paternity testing if the court allows it.  Paternity test results are considered definitive proof in every court in the United States.  A court order then establishes paternal rights and responsibilities, including child custody, parenting time, child support, and decision-making authority regarding your child.

Contested paternity

Julia Shalhoup can also represent your interests if you are disputing your paternity of a child.  A paternity dispute can arise for several reasons, including the presumption of a husband’s paternity of children conceived during the marriage, inaccurate paternity affidavits, or claims of paternity fraud.

Child support

Once paternity is established, either the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent—either the father or the mother—can obtain an ongoing child support obligation order.  This serves the purpose of providing for your child as well as ensuring that all legal obligations are met.  Additionally, child support establishes you as a parent who plays an active role in your child’s life.

Seek counsel in your paternity suit.  Call (304) 345-4455.

If you need solid legal advice and representation regarding contesting or establishing paternity, contact a West Virginia family lawyer at (304) 345-4455, or fill out our online contact form.

From offices in Charleston, Julia Shalhoup represents clients throughout West Virginia, including Charleston, Hurricane, Winfield, Madison, Elkview, Ripley, Beckley, Hamlin, and Spencer, and Putnam, Kanawha, Boone, Lincoln, Jackson, Roane, Cabell, Clay, and Raleigh counties.

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