In North Carolina, when a couple who is married has a baby, the couple is automatically viewed as the child’s legal parents, and both of their names will appear on the child’s birth certificate. This provides both members of the couple with all the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. If the parents are not married, however, it complicates the matter considerably. If you are not married, the paternity of the child is not automatically established. If you need to establish paternity of your child – and have the law recognize the biological father as the legal father – there are additional steps you must take. If you have paternity concerns, consult with an experienced Raleigh family lawyer today.
Establishing Paternity in North Carolina
The State of North Carolina has four means of establishing paternity, including:
- If you are married when the child is born, it results in automatic paternity.
- If you get married after the child is born, it can establish paternity retroactively. This is not an automatic process, and it is in you and your child’s best interest to work with a family lawyer to establish paternity in this way.
- Both parents can sign an Affidavit of Paternity, which establishes paternity.
- One of you can file a paternity suit, which leaves it up to the court to make the determination.
If you are bringing a suit to establish the paternity of your child, it is likely that you’ll be dealing with far more than determining who the legal father is – you’ll also be facing issues related to child support and child custody. These are all critical matters that are far too important to leave to chance. Working closely with a knowledgeable Raleigh family lawyer is the best path forward.
The Benefits of Establishing Paternity
There are many important reasons to establish paternity of your child. First of all, you want your child to form a bond with both of his or her parents. Additionally, your child can be denied inheritance rights and benefits stemming from the father if his or her paternity is not legally recognized. Paternity also provides your child with a more complete health record. Finally, the father of your child has the right and the responsibility to help support your child financially and emotionally – and your child is entitled to receive this support. These are benefits that are important to your child now and in the future. A skilled family attorney will help ensure that you and your child’s best interest are well protected throughout the legal process.
If You’re Considering Filing a Paternity Case, You Need the Professional Legal Counsel of a Raleigh Family Lawyer
Issues related to paternity are important to everyone involved. If it is time to legally establish your child’s paternity, experienced family lawyer Daphne Edwards at Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law in Raleigh, North Carolina, is here to help. Ms. Edwards has the skill, dedication, and compassion to advocate for you and your child’s rights. For more information, please contact or call us at (919) 838-7160 today.