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Why an Acknowledgement of Paternity Matters

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

Becoming a father is a really big deal in a man’s life. You have contributed to the creation of a life—a person who shares your genetics, who has some of your physical looks and features, and who needs a father. It is therefore critical to understand how the law treats “paternity”, or a man’s status as a child’s father. If a child’s father and mother are married at the time of the child’s birth, then there is a legal presumption that the husband is the child’s father and no further steps need to be taken to establish paternity of the child. The same is true if a mother and father get married after a child is born, which retroactively creates the presumption that the man is the father. However, if …

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Child Support and Fighting Paternity

In Child Support by Carly Baker

Before the era of viral tweets and “memes” on the internet, there were the Maury Povich and Jerry Springer shows, which featured a parade of over-the-top individuals egged on by rabid audiences to behave badly. It made for great, train-wreck television. One of the most popular segments of these shows was often the “Is he the father?” segments in which multiple alleged fathers were confronted by the mother of a child, followed by the live “reveal” of the paternity testing. Often when Maury or Jerry would state “you are NOT the father,” the crowd would go wild and the man would start dancing. It was ridiculous, inappropriate, and highly entertaining at the same time. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of real life, where questions of paternity are no joke. …

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Is the Child Yours? Steps to Establishing Paternity

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

Fatherhood is a wonderful life experience and also a big responsibility. Fatherhood also comes with legal rights and important duties. These legal rights include the rights of custody, visitation, and access, so you have the ability to know the child, have a real relationship with the child, and help in making important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. The most focused-upon duty that a father has is that of child support. While no one can disagree that fathers should have the right to visit with their children and bear financial responsibility for them, courts need to be sure that a man is a child’s father before allowing access and ordering many years of child support payments. This is why it is important to establish paternity. In order to exercise rights as …

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Establishing Your Child’s Paternity

In Child Custody, Child Support, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

A determination of paternity is incredibly important under the laws of North Carolina as without such a finding: (1) a father has no legal rights to visit or access the child; (2) a mother has no ability to obtain child support orders; and (3) the child does not have an automatic right to inherit from the father. This is because absent a paternity finding or presumption, a child has no legal father. Voluntarily Establishing Paternity Paternity can be established in several ways. The first is the presumption of paternity that occurs when a child is born to married parents. In this scenario, it is mandatory that the child’s father be named on the child’s birth certificate and that the child be given the father’s last name unless otherwise agreed by …