All kinds of things happen. It could be with someone that you love tremendously or maybe someone that you have been dating for a while. Maybe it was someone that you had a connection with one night where one thing led to another in the heat of the moment.
Whatever the case may be, you now find yourself at the end of a phone call, text message or even a social media post that you’re going to be a father. If this is your first child this can become a very overwhelming experience. It is important to know what your next steps are, what you can and can’t do as well as what your rights are as the potential father in the situation.
One of the first things that you need to know is that before any kind of custody/arrangement is established legally you have to determine the paternity of the child before a father even has the right to make a claim. This is important because even the most trustworthy person can have an unfaithful moment and you would sit there paying the price for a child that may or may not be yours. It’s true, biology doesn’t truly determine in your heart whether you are the father or not, this step is the most important as far as the law goes.
If you’re a father, you can request a paternity test if the potential mother is attempting to claim that you are the father of the child and receive financial assistance from you (child support). Paternity is also needed to set up things for future unforeseen events such as the relationship ending outside of wedlock if the relationship is of a same-sex nature to determine legal joint paternity/custodial agreement as well as proving that you may not be the father if you feel that the child is not your own.
Here at the Law Offices of Amanda Todd Daniels, we can help you in each step of the process including determining paternity, setting up child support as well as potential visitation. No matter what the situation is, we are capable of adjusting to the needs you have and are more than able to help you out while giving you clear, concise information while keeping your best interest at hand.
Determining paternity is the most important step. If you request testing or if testing is requested of you, by law you have to comply. Testing is a relatively painless process in which the most common method is called the buccal swab collection. The buccal swab collection is where a special swab is rubbed on the inner cheek to remove cheek cells. These cells contain DNA which can be analyzed to determine the genetic profile of that person.
The buccal swab is not only the most painless version of testing but also comes with a 99.99% accuracy rate in determining the identity of children. Blood testing can also occur while the mother is pregnant, and this method is a non-invasive way to test paternity as the baby’s DNA is found naturally in the mother’s bloodstream. Essentially, this testing helps to examine the genetic profile of a person, thus helping determine paternity.
Speaking of testing, the turnaround for testing is usually completed within 2-3 days of receiving the samples. There are ways to expedite the process in case paternity determination is needed in a quicker fashion, such as having an individual’s name placed on a birth certificate, among other things.
Maybe there is another kind of situation that has arisen where you may have gotten wind of infidelity. If it was a long-term relationship on the other person’s end, then there is the possibility that you may or may not have been the parent(s) of the aforementioned child (children). In this case, paternity testing is required to occur even if it might not have the favorable outcome that you seek.
It is also important to remember that testing is not a slap in the face of your former partner but more of a legal hurdle that needs to be jumped over to continue the process of being able to establish placement, child support, and visitation schedules. With these kinds of touchy situations, it’s important to have an experienced, methodical, and detail-oriented attorney who is empathetic yet strong enough for you and your child (children)to help you navigate these uncharted waters.
Child support consists of three types of expenses: basic support (clothing, food, shelter, etc.), medical care, and child care. The amount of support paid by the non-custodial parent (parent where the child or children are not placed) is calculated from the parent’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Some things such as college tuition, health insurance, and other varying factors may also be ordered to be paid by the non-custodial parent.
It is important to note that as times are changing, we do see a lot of great fathers go above and beyond for their children so the rights are shifting more towards that direction of 50/50 custody shared between both parents. Nothing is more important than having the ability to love their child (children) without fear of being punished by the mother or other father if it’s an LBGTQ+ relationship.
One of the things that the Law Offices of Amanda Todd Daniels does is stay at the forefront of all of the legislation that moves forward within the LGBTQ+ community, so she is more than able to keep your interest in mind while providing stellar legal representation.
Things in life change which sometimes warrant a change in the child custody order. In that case, it is necessary to petition the family court to modify child custody. Normal situations that may need a change of orders include relocation (moving) of either parent, child endangerment, and the child themselves as they get older. No matter what the changes are, you always want to be protected and have the child’s best interest in mind.
Things to remember:
Determining Paternity is Key
You, as a father, have rights
Testing for both parents is a legal right for both parties
Have competent legal representation for the protection of you and your child
This is a difficult time for you, and we at the Law Offices of Amanda Todd Daniels understand that you may have further questions or need more legal counseling. Feel free to reach out to Amanda for a confidential consultation or contact her by phone at 662-678-8009