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Paternity: Your rights as a father or to not be a father

Are you the father of a child or want to know if you're the father of a child? In many situations, you may want to prove your paternity or lack of paternity for a child. You can voluntarily affirm that you're a child's father, but you may also want to have paternity established through a test ordered by the court in Massachusetts.

There are several reasons to make sure you know your rights and have paternity proven. For one thing, if you're not with the mother of the child romantically and it's only been claimed that the child is yours, you may want to have a test completed to make sure you're only paying child support for a child who is truly yours.

If you want to visit your child, you'll also need to provide information about being his or her father. For instance, visitation rights won't be able to be claimed if you're not the child's father, but if the paternity test proves you are, then you have the right to seek visitation and even custody if you choose to do so.

The courts decide most aspects of custody and visitation, and they do so while considering the best interests of the child involved. If you have a troubled past or the mother of your child does, this might be something you need to take part in to prove why you should have visitation or custody of your child or children.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can become part of your child's life or how you can prove that the child in question isn't yours, you can find more information on our paternity webpage.

Source: Lisa Ruggieri, "Paternity Lawyer" Sep. 18, 2014

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