New Jersey Paternity Lawyers
The attorneys at Castronovo & McKinney have experience in family and paternal law. Using this experience, we are able to provide clients with a high level of knowledge and commitment. We can work with you to resolve paternity issues involving visitation, custody, child support, and more.
Paternity in N.J.
In a paternity suit, the relationship between a father and his child is being further investigated. In this area of law, we deal with disputing or establishing such a relationship. When a child is born into wedlock, the law simply assumes that the wife is the mother and the husband is the father. So, paternity is presumed. However, paternity can become a legal matter when it is rebutted or when a single man wishes to volunteer his paternity.
If paternity among several putative (possible) fathers is in question, legal council may become necessary. This can occur when a mother wishes to determine the legal and biological father of her child or children among multiple partners. Similarly, paternity may become a legal matter when it is challenged by an existing legal father. A legal father may wish to challenge his paternity if the biological relationship with his child is questionable. In such cases, sworn statements, testimonies, and possible evidence can come into play.
Although all children have a biological father, with single parents there is no presumption of paternity. As a result, the father has no rights or responsibilities to the child. When a father wishes to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, it can be formally established in writing to the local Registrar of Vital Statistics. However, if the mother does not equally acknowledge the paternity, a legal matter may ensue.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity can help determine how issues such as visitation, custody, and child support will be handled. In order for a court to make decisions on these matters, legal paternity must first be determined. If paternity cannot be settled amicably, the court may order genetic testing for the alleged father via a blood test.
Once paternity is confirmed, the father may request visitations and/or custody of the child through the court system. It also means that he is responsible for paying child support, medical insurance, and possible childcare costs. At this point, the legal father has full rights and responsibilities to the child.
If you have encountered problems involving paternity or have questions that need answering, please contact Castronovo & McKinney. Our excellent N.J. Family attorneys are ready to help you.