A man may voluntary affirm that he is the father of a child, or paternity can be established through a test ordered by the court.
Once it is legally established, fatherhood carries with it the duty to pay child support. Depending on circumstances, the father may or may not be able to claim visitation rights with the child.
The Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., has extensive experience in paternity cases and represents both fathers and mothers. We will work to resolve your case and related matters arising from paternity such as child support and custody matters, including child visitation rights in an efficient cost-effective manner.
Paternity And Child Support
Once the paternity of a child has been legally established, the father can be made to pay child support for future years. He also becomes responsible for past child support dating back to the birth of the child. In some cases, this back child support can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
The adjudication of paternity and the issuance of a child support order are two separate actions, each presenting different legal issues.
Family law attorney Lisa Ruggieri has represented clients in both situations — mothers wishing to compel the father to pay child support, and fathers wishing to limit the amount of support that must be paid. She can advise you of your rights and what can be done to achieve your goals.
Paternity, Custody And Visitation
Courts decide every custody and visitation question in favor of what they determine to be the “best interest of the child.” This means that the legal father of a child is not necessarily entitled to visitation rights, but these may be obtained through a successful action in court.
Even if a father has no prior significant relationship with the child, he may still be able to obtain visitation rights and a parenting plan, though that outcome is by no means certain.
The Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., represents mothers and fathers in custody and visitation actions. We understand the legal issues in these matters and the criteria judges use to make their decisions, and will work energetically to achieve your goals.