Paternity Lawyers in Alabama
Our paternity attorneys at Dothan Law Group work to give families peace of mind about their parental rights and the financial security needed to effectively raise their children. In cases where the parents are married at the time the child is born, paternity is usually presumed and does not require any outside testing or legal processes. In Alabama when a child is born within 300 days of a divorce, the former spouse is also presumed to be the child’s father for purposes of paternity.
A mother may seek to establish paternity to collect child support or a father may seek to assert his parental rights and establish visitation or custody. The State of Alabama has a comprehensive scheme that lays out all of the elements of paternity, including the methods to establish paternity whether it is contested or uncontested.
We represent clients who seek to prove or exclude paternity. Whether you are interested in DNA evidence to prove or disprove paternity, or you are interested in collecting or defending against child support payments, our experienced attorneys at Dothan Law Group recognizes the interests of both the mother and the father in establishing paternity. Dothan Law Group has represented clients in a number of paternity-related legal matters, including:
- Child support enforcement
- Child custody and visitation enforcement
- Unmarried couples
- Fathers’ rights
- Changes of custody
- Post-decree modifications
How Paternity is Established
There are a number of ways in which paternity can be established. First, both the father and mother have the option to sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, which legally establishes the child’s father. If parents can not agree on who the father of the child is, they will need to go to court to establish paternity. This means that a state court will determine paternity. Paternity actions may be started by any of the following:
- The mother of the child
- The putative father of the child, who can be either the person identified as the father or someone who believes he is the father
- Authorized adoption agencies
- Alabama’s Department of Human Resources
- A licensed child-placement agency
- The legal representative of an individual who would otherwise have the right to challenge paternity (such as a putative father), but who is unable of doing so due to death, incapacity or being underage
- Any person who can demonstrate a direct interest in the parentage of a child but who is not otherwise listed in the noted categories
Additionally, a child has the right to begin a paternity action although in many cases he or she does not have the wherewithal to do so. In these cases, an adult would need to act on the child’s behalf to hire one of our experienced attorneys at Dothan Law Group or complete and file the necessary paperwork to bring the case to court.
A paternity dispute is an argument about the identity of the father of a child. The most common person to contest paternity is a putative or alleged father who has a belief that he is not the actual biological father of the child. This process can also be used if a man wants to establish paternity of a child, but a child’s mother has denied that the man is the biological father.
Whether it is your goal to establish paternity or to rebut its presumption, a paternity disputes lawyer at Dothan Law Group can help you obtain the necessary court order that can establish certain rights and impose obligations on the father or end them in some cases.
Experienced Family Lawyer for Paternity Proceedings
At Dothan Law Group, we encourage and facilitate paternity and legitimation, but we also understand there may be times when they are not appropriate. To discuss a paternity matter as a mother or father, call our experienced attorneys at Dothan Law Group to schedule a consultation with a caring and dedicated paternity lawyer.