Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. An established legal father of a child is obligated to support that child, as well as petition the court for child custody or visitation. Since paternity actions can be complicated, it is imperative to obtain legal services from an experienced and skilled family lawyer.
At DeFazio Bal, we are dedicated to fighting for the parenting rights of fathers in Central Virginia. With more than five decades of collective experience, our Richmond family lawyers understand what it takes to successfully peruse the desires of our clients and the best interests of their children.
In Virginia, when both the mother and father agree that the father is the “biological” father, paternity can be established voluntarily through the signage of a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity” form. This is typically done at the hospital where the child is born, and both parties must sign the same form in front of a notary.
On the other hand, involuntary establishment of paternity is pursued through the court system. The reason why it is considered “involuntary” is because someone disputes paternity, which needs to be settled in court. All parties involved can start the court process by filing a “Petition to Establish Paternity” in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in the respective county where the child resides. If either the mother or the father denies or is unsure of paternity, they can request the court to order a genetic or DNA testing.
Establishing paternity can have far-reaching implications, both emotionally and financially. You must be aware of all of your legal options in order to determine the right course of action. Not matter what your reasons for determining paternity, DeFazio Bal is committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for you and your child.
Contact us and request a consultation today.