If a couple is married, and a child is born during the marriage, Alabama law presumes the husband is that child’s father. While this is usually true, that is not always the case. In those situations, the natural father may want a relationship with his child, even though he is not married to the mother. To guarantee that legal right, he will need to have his paternity rights established. Additionally, the husband may want to make sure his parental rights and responsibilities are terminated.
In the situation of a child born out of wedlock, the parties can agree to paternity through the process called “uncontested consent” by signing an acknowledgement of paternity form. If the parties cannot agree, paternity may have to be established through a court ordered DNA test. In some circumstances, fathers are forced to submit to a DNA test by the mother who is seeking to establish paternity for child support. In other circumstances, the father forces the DNA test so that he can have custody or visitation rights with his child. Even if the parties agree to paternity, that can later be challenged in court if facts arise to show the listed father is not the natural father.
It is also important for the child for paternity rights to be established. Without establishment of paternity rights, the child is not entitled to child support payments, health insurance, social security benefits, and inheritance from the parent.
If you are going through a paternity dispute, or want to establish paternity either for yourself, or for your child, call the Birmingham paternity rights attorneys at Boles Holmes White LLC to help you through the legal process. Contact our Birmingham law office today at 205-502-2000.