Dedicated Paternity Lawyer in Toledo Handles Matters of Parentage
Firm helps clients establish legal paternity in Ohio
No matter how long an unmarried man and woman have been in a relationship, legal action must be taken to establish paternal rights when the couple’s child is born. When a father wishes to make a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and the mother agrees, this is a relatively simple process. However, in other situations, there can be disputes requiring one of the parties to establish paternity in order to open the door for custody and child support rights. At Mock Law, L.P.A. in Toledo, I am an accomplished Ohio attorney who handles all types of concerns relating to legal paternity.
Paternity is assumed when a mother is married at the time of birth
Legal paternity is assumed under Ohio law if parents are married at the time of birth or within a 300-day period before the child was born. This presumption can be overturned by clear and convincing evidence that someone besides the mother’s husband is the biological father. Typically, this assertion is proven or disproven through genetic evidence.
Methods of establishing paternity when the parties are not married
There are three ways to establish legal paternity if it is not assumed under Ohio law:
- Acknowledgement by affidavit — A man and woman who agree on the paternity of their child can execute an affidavit that voluntarily establishes legal fatherhood for the man. This document must be signed by both parties and notarized.
- Administrative order — Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agency conducts genetic testing when parents seek to determine who fathered a child. When the results are received, an administrative order can be issued establishing that the tested man is the biological father. If the test shows no genetic link, the man can receive an exclusion order relieving him of his legal duty to support the child.
- Court order — During a Juvenile Court case or a divorce proceeding in Domestic Relations Court, the judge can issue an order declaring that a man is the legal father of a youth.
As an experienced Ohio family law attorney, I am well acquainted with each method of declaring legal parentage and guide clients through the process that best suits their situation and needs.
How paternity affects child custody and support arrangements
Without establishing legal paternity, an unmarried father may not be able to obtain child custody or visitation rights. This can be important, because if his relationship with the child’s mother ends, he could be prevented from spending time with his son or daughter. If you are a father seeking an order that gives you frequent, meaningful contact with your child, my firm can help.
In other cases, mothers must first petition for a paternity order before receiving the child support they are entitled to from their son or daughter’s father. This can be difficult if a man denies legal parentage in order to avoid a long-term financial obligation. When necessary, I take legal measures to compel testing for purported fathers and advocate for a prompt, appropriate resolution.
Whether you are a mother pursuing a paternity declaration, a father who wants the legal right to spend time with his child or a man who disagrees with an allegation that you fathered a child, my firm offers strong representation throughout your paternity dispute.
Contact an experienced Ohio family lawyer regarding a paternity issue
Mock Law, L.P.A. in Toledo provides comprehensive counsel on paternity matters and other family law issues. Please call 567-200-3573 or contact me online to schedule a meeting. My phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.