Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Understanding the impact of a paternity action

A determination of paternity has a number of important legal and emotional impacts for families. It can be an important to determine for child support and child custody purposes, as well as for purposes related to medical concerns or inheritance. A paternity action is a legal action to determine the legal identity of the father of a child. Paternity is determined by a DNA test that can be ordered by the court which will then legally establish the identity of the child's father.

A paternity action may be brought by a mother seeking child support or by a father seeking child custody rights. Paternity can be established through different methods depending on the circumstances of the child and parents, however, a paternity action is one option to enjoy the legal rights and emotional benefits of a legal determination of paternity.

Once paternity has been determined, a child support order can be established. There are a variety of important concerns related to child support agreements that the family law process can serve as a resource for, including child support enforcement and the potential need for modifications in certain circumstances. Additionally, once paternity is established, the father can seek child custody and visitation rights and a child custody agreement can also be developed. The family law process also serves as a resource for child custody concerns that might arise which can also include the potential need for a modification.

A legal determination of paternity has important implications to understand when considering utilizing family law resources to help determine paternity. As a result, it is helpful to understand the legal process of determining paternity and to understand what to expect.

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