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Experienced Toledo Paternity Lawyer Assists with Parentage Matters

Knowledgeable Ohio law firm helps clients establish legal fatherhood

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. As an accomplished Ohio family law attorney at Mock Law, L.P.A. in Toledo, I effectively assist clients with all types of concerns relating to legal paternity.

What is assumed paternity?

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. However, 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. Whether you are married or unmarried, if you are involved in a dispute about paternity, I can outline the process required to obtain a legal determination.

How is paternity established if it is not assumed?

There are three ways to establish legal paternity if it is not assumed under Ohio law:

  • Acknowledgement of paternity 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 man is the biological father should that be the outcome of the test. If the test shows no genetic link, the man can receive an exclusion order relieving him of any legal duty to support the child financially.
  • 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 child.

As an experienced Ohio family lawyer, 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 does legal paternity affect child custody and support arrangements?

Without establishing legal paternity, an unmarried father may not be able to obtain child custody or visitation rights. If he is unable to obtain these rights because parentage was not established, he could be prevented from seeing his child should his relationship with the mother end. For mothers, it can be difficult to get child support if a man denies they are the father. In order to get child support in such a situation, paternity must be established. 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 a dedicated Toledo family lawyer when you have a paternity concern

At Mock Law, L.P.A. in Toledo, I provide comprehensive counsel on paternity matters and other family law issues to Ohio residents. Call 567-200-3573 or contact my law firm online to schedule a meeting. My phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.