Columbia Paternity Lawyer
Columbia Family Law Attorney Assisting Clients with Paternity Cases
When a child is born to unmarried parents in Columbia, Maryland, the child has no immediate legal father. Instead, in order to have the benefits of the parent-child relationship, it is necessary to establish paternity. Under Maryland law, there are a couple of different ways to establish paternity, and there are many reasons that it is important to do so. Maryland law also has procedures in place to manage contested cases of parentage.
If you need help establishing paternity, you should reach out to a Columbia paternity lawyer as soon as possible. Either parent is permitted to initiate a paternity action, whether it is the father or the mother. An advocate at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA can provide you with additional information.
Why is Establishing Paternity in Columbia Important?
It is important for any child in Maryland to establish paternity in order to have advantage of the parent-child relationship. Some of the reasons to establish paternity include but are not limited to:
- Benefits to which a child may be entitled: the child may be entitled to receive certain benefits through his or her father, such as Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, health insurance, life insurance, and inheritances;
- Knowing a family medical history: it is important for a child to know his or her father’s family history of disease, illness, and birth defects for his or her own health and well-being;
- Child support: minor children need and deserve financial support from the father, and they also need and deserve emotional support; and
- Child custody: given that minor children need and deserve emotional support from both parents, it is often important to establish paternity to ensure that both parents can spend time with the child.
How to Establish Paternity in Howard County
There are two key ways to establish paternity in Maryland:
- Through a court order; or
- Through an Affidavit of Parentage.
After a baby is born, the father can sign an Affidavit of Parentage in the hospital, which will allow for his name to be listed on the baby’s birth certificate. However, the father can also sign the Affidavit of Parentage at a later date, but in that case both parents need to sign it and it must be notarized. The Affidavit of Parentage is a valid method for establishing paternity in Columbia, Maryland all the way up through the child’s 18th birthday. It is important to remember that the Affidavit of Parentage becomes a legal document that places all of the rights and responsibilities of parenthood on the father who signs it. It is possible in some cases to rescind an Affidavit of Parentage, but it must be done within 60 days from the days from the date that it was originally signed.
In contested paternity cases, either of the parents involved can request that genetic testing be done to determine the probability of paternity. The court can then issue a court order that establishes paternity based upon the results of the genetic testing.
Contact a Paternity Lawyer in Columbia
If you have questions or need assistance with a petition to establish paternity, you should speak with a paternity lawyer in Howard County about your case. Contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA online today for more information, or call us at 410-964-0050 to learn more about how we can assist you.