Tennessee Child Custody Law: Paternity Lawyers
Paternity, Legitimization, and Parentage, all ways which refer to the same process in Tennessee family law whereby the determination of a child or minor’s lawful parents is made. Problems tend to arise when an individual seeks to validate the biological relation of a father to a child. Biological fatherhood can be proven by means of DNA testing, or simply by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Such testing or acknowledgements may be required by law in divorce cases where two parties are married or in juvenile cases where a child is born outside of wedlock. In any case, if the paternity of a child is in question or being placed under scrutiny in a court of law, it is incredibly important to seek legal counsel, as some cases which may be mishandled by someone unexperienced in Tennessee family can result in the loss of custody of the child in question.
Legal Rights of the Father
Tennessee State laws, in addition to the U.S. Constitution, identify the inherent legal rights of a child’s father, which include:
- Child Support: Every legal father bears the responsibility of supporting and maintaining the well-being of his minor child, regardless of whether that child’s conception was by means of adoption, artificial insemination, or natural reproduction.
- Inheritance: Every legal father inherits from his minor child, just as every minor child inherits from their legal father.
- Parenting Time, or Visitation: Every parent in the US holds the right, as established in the US Constitution, to spend time with their legal child. Amounts of time may vary, depending on determinations made by the court, which include the child’s age, the father’s background, and, often, the parents’ agreement.
Facing Legal Paternity Proceedings?
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Married Parents and Paternity Testing
Divorce proceedings may bring about the question of a child’s paternity when:
- Discovery that a wife is pregnant following a period of separation;
- Discovery that a wife is pregnant and was romantically involved with an party outside of the marriage;
- Acknowledgement by the wife that the child is not the husband’s.
Due to the long term responsibility which accompanies the declaration of an individual’s parentage of a child, it is well within reason for one to request conclusive evidence of paternity via DNA testing. Although this has the potential to cause embarrassment, or direct insult, the best approach to take when facing such situations is parentage testing.
Children are often born outside of wedlock in the state of Tennessee, which commonly brings about the question of parentage. Issues with parentage typically arise for parents who are not married and who may be involved in one of the following situations:
- Couples who live together and are not married;
- “One-Night Stands”, or Brief Sexual Encounters;
- Extramarital sexual relations with someone who is married.
Parents who live together and at some point experience breaking up, the aforementioned issues may arise. A man is presumed by law to be the father of a minor child if he acknowledges paternity, provides his signature on a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity document, and/or has been placed on the child’s birth certificate. If he has not been declared by a court as the biological father or provided conclusive evidence from genetic testing that he is the biological father, he shall not be considered the legal father of the minor child.
Get the Help You Need Now
Are you dealing with a paternity issue in Tennessee? Our paternity lawyers can help you navigate the complex landscape of Tennessee paternity law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with qualified legal help.
Hire a Nashville Paternity Lawyer
Proving or disproving one’s biological fatherhood can be one of the most difficult experiences a man can face in his life, especially in front of a court. The emotionally draining burden of discovering that one is or is not the parent of a beloved child can be detrimental for every party involved. That’s why at Nashville Law Offices, PLLC, we use our expertise and empathy to guide you through such difficult and burdensome processes in a manner that makes the legal side a much less painful experience. The laws and restrictions regarding paternity in Tennessee are complex, so our experienced paternity lawyers do their very best to ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact our office today to schedule you first consultation at no charge and speak with qualified legal experts who can help you.