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Why do I need a Paternity Case if I know who the father of my baby is?

Paternity: written by: Camy Schwam-Wilcox of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates

This is a very common question asked by clients when they have a baby and they are not married to the other parent of the child. When a couple is breaking up, be it a divorce if they are married, or a break up if the are just dating or if they have a one-night stand and have a baby from that relationship there needs to be a "vehicle" to obtain relief from a Judge in regard to who is going to care for the baby, who is going to pay child support, and all other issues revolving around children. If one is married to the other parent these issues are taken care of in a divorce, that is the "vehicle" to obtain relief from a Judge. If people have a child together but they are not married they clearly cannot get a divorce, so they need to have another choice to ensure all of the issues revolving the child(ren) are addressed; the name of this "vehicle" is a Paternity Action. In some cases the actual paternity is in question and a DNA test will be ordered; however, in most cases the father is known, but the matter is still called a Paternity Action, that lets the court know without any further information that there is a couple that was never married and they now have a child(ren) together and they need assistance regarding child issues. If the Father's name is on the birth certificate, that does not mean he is the "legal" father, that is just evidence that can be used in the case. The unmarried father only becomes the legal father after there is an adjudication from a Judge and a Court Order granting him this status. Once a man is deemed to be the legal father, he will have equal rights to the child(ren), before he is adjudicated the legal father, he only has the right to pay child support. Here at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, we take pride in assisting our father clients in obtaining this legal status (if he wants it) as early on as possible in the case in order to ensure he is able to obtain time sharing as soon as possible. We do also represent Mothers in these cases who want to make sure their children are protected, safe and taken care of by the legal fathers (if she wants it). For more information on paternity cases you can contact our attorneys at 407-245-7700, or or visit our website at Main office: Orlando

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