The term “paternity” describes the formal declaration of an individual as the father of a child. There are many reasons why paternity issues might be disputed, from seeking parental rights to assuming child support obligations. An Ottawa paternity lawyer could assist with either of these issues.
If the parents of a minor child cannot agree on questions of paternity, it is left up to the courts to decide. If you are involved in this type of conflict, now is the time to seek legal counsel. Allow a dedicated family lawyer to guide you through this important process.
There are many times when the law makes a presumption of paternity. In these cases, the parents do not have to take additional steps to establish the paternity of their child. However, it is possible to refute this assumption with the right evidence.
The most commonly used presumption of paternity involves a child that is born from a legal marriage. If the husband was married to the birth mother at the time the child is born, the law would presume they are the rightful father. There is also usually an assumption when a person was married to the birth mother, even if the marriage was terminated within 300 days before the child’s birth.
There are additional circumstances where there may be a presumption even though the mother and father were never legally married. For instance, if the parents lived together in some sort of permanent relationship during the 300 days prior to the child’s birth, many will assume the father’s identity.
It is possible to establish paternity even if it is not presumed under the law. The simplest way to resolve a paternity issue is for both parents to reach a formal agreement. Paternity agreements legally clarify the identity of the father of a minor child.
In order for parents to acknowledge the paternity of a child by agreement, both parties must sign a written agreement to that effect. A paternity lawyer in Ottawa could draft these documents to ensure their legal validity and submit them to the court on your behalf. Once the agreement is recognized, the father is then given the opportunity to pursue all rights reserved for a parent. After paternity is established this way, the court could also issue an order requiring the father to make support payments for the child.
When an agreement cannot be reached between two individuals, the final option for establishing paternity is through legal action. Either parent—the mother or the father—could file an action to determine the question of paternity.
In these cases, DNA testing is used to reveal the identity of the father and leaves no room for doubt. Samples are collected from the alleged father and the child, and the results are analyzed in a lab. If the results show a biological link between the two, the court will issue an order recognizing paternity. An experienced paternity lawyer in Ottawa could assist with litigating paternity debates and help uncover whether the supposed father is the child’s biological parent once and for all.
Before a father can enforce their rights as a parent, they must first have their paternity formally recognized. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on if all parties are in agreement.
If you and your former partner cannot agree upon who is the child’s legitimate father, you should consider pursuing a paternity case. An Ottawa paternity lawyer could fight to protect your legal parental rights or help enforce action from another responsible party. Call right away to get started.
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