When children are born to unmarried parents in Massachusetts, the mother, father or both parents often have compelling reasons to establish paternity through a formal legal process. This is an essential step for mothers who need to obtain child support orders, as well as for men who want certainty regarding a child’s biological parentage and/or the right to seek custody and/or visitation.
Practical Counsel And Cost-Effective Representation For Unmarried Parents
At Amaral & Associates, P.C., our experienced attorneys assist diverse clients with all aspects of paternity claims and closely related issues such as custody, visitation and child support. At our long-standing family law firm with offices in Winthrop and Boston, you can count on receiving clear legal guidance relevant to your unique situation and goals. We focus on maximizing the value we provide to each client while minimizing stress and legal costs.
Our lawyers’ decades of experience cover the full spectrum of paternity scenarios and legal actions, both amicable and contested. We are well-equipped to counsel and represent:
- Mothers seeking to establish paternity by court order, often with the goals of obtaining child support and, sometimes, opening an avenue for the father’s involvement in the child’s life
- Men who believe they fathered a child or are alleged to have done so — many of whom wish to accept parental responsibility and obtain "fathers’ rights" that otherwise do not exist in the eyes of the courts, such as the rights to custody and/or visitation
What Are Your Legal Rights? Will Establishing Paternity Benefit Your Child?
Parents who live together in stable, loving relationships sometimes recognize the need to establish legal paternity at some point well after the birth of a child. Doubts and concerns about biological fatherhood sometimes arise between married people as well.
Today, DNA testing is readily available, reliable and painless. Unmarried parents should be aware that, as long as paternity is not legally established, the mother alone has custody rights and the exclusive right to make decisions about the child. The father has no parental rights at all in these situations.
Whatever your specific questions and concerns involving paternity in the Boston area or a surrounding community, we will provide an initial consultation at no charge. Simply call 617-539-1010 or contact us via email now.