Rights of Paternity
Paternity during marriage
When a child is born to married parents, there is never any doubt as to who is that child’s mother. However, there is often a dispute as to the child’s natural father. Establishing the natural father is known as establishing “paternity.” From the child’s perspective, paternity is important because it establishes who the parents are for purposes of monthly child support obligations, health insurance, and social security benefits to which the child is entitled.
There is a presumption under Alabama law that the husband is also the father. This is certainly the case in most, but not all situations. The actual father of the child may want a relationship, even though he and the mother are not together. In order to protect his rights as a parent, he will have to seek court intervention to establish his paternity of the child.
Paternity outside of marriage
When parents are not married and have a baby, the father of the child must be established. This can be done voluntarily with both parents agreeing through an “uncontested consent.” This is a simple process accomplished by signing a document establishing the child’s paternity. However, often the father denies being the child’s parent, and paternity must be established through a DNA test in Court. On other occasions, the mother denies he is the natural father and he has to seek a court order to establish his rights to custody or visitation.
If you have a minor child and there is a dispute as to the true identity of that child’s father, or you want to establish you are the father, our family law attorneys can assist. Contact us today at 334-792-1900.