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Paternity Lawyer in Clearwater

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Paternity testGiven the advances in DNA testing, it’s easy to believe that determining paternity is a simple matter, but the truth is that there are many different angles to consider in a paternity case—even if the biological father can be found. Establishing paternity does not only mean that the father is now responsible for child support, it also gives them visitation rights and the possibility of claiming custody. Additionally, paternity is not always awarded to the biological father, and you can be made legally be responsible for a child even if it is known that you are not their biological parent.

If you would like to establish paternity or are embroiled in a paternity suit, call (727) 205-0770 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Types of Paternity

Remember that the true focus of these matters is on the child. Judges make paternity rulings based on what they believe to be in the child’s best interests. Whether you are trying to file a paternity suit, prove you are the father of a child, or fight a paternity suit directed at you, experienced Clearwater paternity attorney Connie R. Stephens can help.

Establishing paternity provides the child with extra financial support and another possible guardian in the event that the mother becomes incapacitated. There are a few different types of paternity that can be established:

  • Acknowledged father – The acknowledged father is the biological father of a child born to unmarried parents. These cases can be usually be determined quickly with a DNA test, but even then there are matters such as child support and visitation that an attorney can help you with.
  • Presumed father – A presumed father can be, but is not always, the biological parent of the child. To be labeled a presumed father, a man must have played an important role in the child’s life—whether it be marrying the mother before or after birth, welcomed the child into his home and helped to raise him, or had his name put on the birth certificate of the child.
  • Equitable father – This is a man who, while he is not the adoptive or biological parent of the child, has played an important role in the child’s life and has developed a close relationship with them. This claim requires both the man and the child to acknowledge the relationship.
  • Unwed father – Fathers who are not or have never been married to the mother may have a difficult time establishing custody if there is a presumed or equitable father who can take care of the child. An unwed father will need to establish paternity soon after the child is born if he wishes to retain many of his rights as a parent.

We Can Guide You Through the Paternity Process

This is often a stressful and emotional time for all parties. As your legal counsel, Clearwater paternity lawyer Connie R. Stephens will act as your zealous advocate for the entirety of the proceedings. Our goal is to help each client achieve the most positive outcome possible from their case.

Call (727) 205-0770 to start discussing the details of your case at Connie R. Stephens, P.A.

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