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Helping Parents Establish Their Rights

Paternity and legal acknowledgment of the relationship between a father and a child is an important factor in determining child custody, visitation and child support for unmarried parents. Whether you are a mother who seeks to formalize your child's relationship with your child's father, or a man trying to establish parental rights with your children, it is essential to have a lawyer who will advocate for you. Fathers are every bit as important as mothers in a child's life, and I have represented many fathers throughout Ohio who were seeking to have their rights established and enforced.

Why Seek Paternity?

Generally, children conceived or born during a marriage are legally presumed to be children of the husband. For any child conceived or born outside of marriage, the father's name on the birth certificate does not automatically grant him rights to custody and time with the child, but it also means that the father may be obligated to provide financial support.

Determining paternity can play a role in deciding custody during a divorce, though the primary question will be what is in the child's best interest.

Ultimately, however, determining paternity may be the initial step in seeking child support for a single mother or in seeking custody rights for a single or divorcing father.

Paternity Testing

DNA testing is the most common method for establishing paternity legally, but sworn testimony and other evidence may also come into play when the decision is being made. Single mothers can seek paternity testing as the first step in trying to get financial assistance from a child's father.

For fathers who would like to have an active role in their child's life, going through the paternity testing process can provide a legal means of doing so. If you are a father who is trying to fight for fathers' rights, getting a paternity test can give you the legal standing that you need.

Do not do this alone. Let me, attorney Bobbie O'Keefe, help you navigate through this legal process. Call 614-633-4777 or email me for a consultation at my Columbus office.