Attorneys In Virginia Beach Proving Paternity
Representing mothers and fathers in paternity matters
Whether you are seeking to establish paternity or terminate parental rights in Virginia, it is imperative to consult with a skilled paternity lawyer at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. before you make any major decisions or sign any legal documents. Child support obligations flow from the creation of a legal father-child relationship, and once a relationship is established, courts are reluctant to terminate the bond. If you need a DNA test, our paternity attorneys can refer you to the appropriate resource.
In general, there are five ways to establish paternity: DNA test, voluntary written acknowledgement, marriage, adoption or determination of parentage by a court in another state.
DNA tests are typically used when a mother initiates the lawsuit to establish proof of paternity. If paternity is established, retroactive child support obligations flow from the existence of the relationship. At the discretion of the parents, custody and visitation schedules may also be created to give the child access to both parents. Our family lawyers have extensive experience in this area of law.
On the other hand, the issues and problems are infinitely more complex when an unwed father is seeking to establish paternity without the consent and cooperation of the mother. Before 2007, biological fathers had no legal standing relative to a child unless they had a signed sworn acknowledgement of paternity. Since then, the Virginia Putative Father Registry (PFR) and other similar out-of-state registries have made significant strides in expanding an unwed father’s rights. Talk to our paternity lawyers who serve Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA to find out how you can exercise your rights under Virginia law.
- Voluntary written acknowledgements occur when a married spouse signs a birth certificate or, if the parents are unmarried, through a sworn acknowledgement of paternity signed by both the mother and the father after the birth of a child. Men who sign this affidavit have 60 days from the date of acknowledgement to rescind the acknowledgement in a court of competent jurisdiction. There may be issues and problems that occur when the child is born of artificial insemination, acknowledged by both parents in the sworn affidavit. Speak with an Virginia Beach paternity attorney to learn more about how such cases are handled.
- Marriage creates a presumption of paternity in Virginia, even if the child is born within 300 days from the date of the couple’s separation or, in some cases, divorce. This presumption may be rebutted by evidence that another man could have fathered the child or the impossibility or improbability of parentage based on distance or cohabitation arrangements.
- Adoptions are a complicated area of the law, where biological parents must terminate their rights before a stepparent or adoptive parent can assume the care, support and custody of a child. For legal advice about adoptions, talk to a lawyer at The Stallings Law Group, P.C.
- A determination of parentage by another state is honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Usually, a parent may relinquish paternity by signing a document that terminates parental rights. However, if the biological parent cannot be located, paternity can be relinquished by a judicial decree following a period of notice and registration on the Putative Father Registry (PFR). These issues can have an impact on children during a divorce.
Unyielding legal support for paternity cases
The Stallings Law Group, P.C. understands that a paternity issue can cause a tremendous amount of stress for you and your family. We are ready to work closely with you to establish paternity. We are highly skilled divorce lawyers serving Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA and we are here to serve you. Call us at 757-422-4700 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.