Framingham Paternity Lawyer

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In general, paternity cases throughout Massachusetts seek to obtain child support and/or custody/visitation rights. Whether a father aims to initiate a visitation action or a mother is trying to obtain child support, establishing paternity can accomplish these goals.

If you are interested in establishing paternity in Framingham, our legal team at Saponaro Barach Bingham LLP can get the job done. We can help you resolve such family law issues as the establishment of parental rights, child custody, and visitation rights, parenting plans for unmarried parents, and child support payments.

How to Establish Paternity in Massachusetts

Paternity refers to the determination of a child’s “legal” father and the related rights and obligations afforded to the father of the child. When “paternity has been established,” this means that a person has been named the legal father of a child.

Paternity is automatically established if the parents are married to one another when the child is born--with the father having his name on the birth certificate. By contrast, if the parents of the child are not married to each other when the child is born, then paternity must be established before the father’s name is placed on the birth certificate of the child.

Paternity can be established in the following two ways:

  • Voluntarily - Both the mother and father agree that the father is a biological parent. To voluntarily establish paternity, both parents must sign the “voluntary acknowledgment of parentage”--which can be done at the hospital when the child is born or at the city or town clerk’s office--before a notary public. The document is then filed with the Registry of Vital Records.
  • Involuntarily - Known as an “order of paternity,” this is done in a court of law before a judge. This often occurs when a party disputes paternity. The alleged father, the mother, the child, the child’s guardian, or even a government representative can seek to establish paternity. Once a “complaint to establish paternity” is filed, the court may order DNA or genetic testing of the child and father. If the father is the biological father, then the court will issue an order of paternity, declaring the legal father and ordering that his name will be included in the child’s birth certificate.

Not only does establishing paternity means having a father named on the child’s birth certificate, there are specific rights for both the father and the child associated with establishing paternity. As we mentioned in the beginning, a father can request custody or visitation, while a mother can ask for support from the father can occur when paternity is established.

Get the Rights You Deserve Today!

Whether you need to establish paternity or are trying to fight it, Saponaro Barach Bingham LLP can review your case and figure out all of your legal options to obtain the most favorable results. Do not hesitate to get the knowledgeable and skilled legal help necessary to present an effective case.

Contact us and speak with our Framingham family law attorney for more information today.

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