Fort Wayne, Indiana Paternity Lawyers in Allen County

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Fort Wayne, Indiana Paternity Lawyers in Allen County

Representing Individuals in Fort Wayne, Indiana & Throughout Allen County and Nearby in Paternity Matters

A Fort Wayne, Indiana father’s right to be a part of his child’s life is one of the most foundational rights as a father and one of the important aspects of paternity law. Paternity falls under family law and is a concept that establishes a relationship between a father and his child. This relationship gives the father the right to seek custody and visitation. It also imbues the father with the responsibility to financially support and be involved in the child’s life.

Sometimes, however, the mother is not cooperative in allowing the father to have an active role in the child’s life. In these family law cases, having an experienced Fort Wayne paternity lawyer on your side is vital to help you fight for your rights. At Stange Law Firm, our Indiana paternity attorneys have experience handling all aspects of paternity cases, from establishing paternity to enforcing rights. We understand the importance of fathers being able to play an active role in their child’s life, and we will fight to help you get the time you deserve with your child. Connect with an Allen County family law attorney today to secure exclusive family law representation.

What Is Paternity?

Paternity is the legal term used to describe the father-child relationship. In Indiana, establishing paternity can happen in one of two ways:

  1. Paternity Affidavit – This is a legal document that allows a man and a woman the declare that the man is the biological father of a child.
  2. Court Order – Either parent may file an action with the court seeking the determination of paternity. This action can also be filed by the county child support office if the case is enrolled and open in their office. Parties can agree to paternity without DNA testing, request DNA testing to determine paternity, or the court can hear evidence and make a determination as to whether or not paternity should be established.

Once paternity is clear, the father has the legal right to seek custody and visitation. The father also has the responsibility to support the child financially. Once paternity is established, a child will have access to social Security dependent or survivor benefits, inheritance rights, veteran’s benefits, and life and health insurance benefits.

What Legal Responsibilities Does Paternity Give the Father in Allen County?

Paternity gives the father several legal rights and responsibilities. These include:

  • Custody: The father is entitled to seek custody of his child. This is something that both parents are entitled to from the onset of the child’s birth. If the father has been identified later in the child’s life, or if paternity has been disputed, he has full grounds to seek custody once paternity has been established.
  • Visitation: The father can also seek visitation rights with his child. This is an important right that allows the father to be involved in the child’s life. This is especially true when the child spends more time with the other parent through an established custody arrangement. If the other parent has full custody granted to them, the father can still petition the court for visitation rights to ensure he can spend time with his child.
  • Child Support: The father is also responsible for financially supporting his child. In Indiana, the court determines child support through a number of factors, including both parents’ income and how much time both the mother and father spend with the child. The father is typically required to pay a percentage of his income in child support, which is then used to cover the costs of raising the child.

What Can Make Paternity Difficult to Establish in Fort Wayne, Indiana?

Paternity can be difficult to establish in some cases, including:

  • When the other parent refuses to cooperate with DNA testing: To establish paternity through DNA testing, both the other parent and the alleged father must submit to a test. The test looks for certain markers in the DNA that can be matched to the child. If the other parent refuses to submit to testing, it can make it more difficult to establish paternity. However, the court can order the other parent to submit to testing if there is reason to believe that the person is the child’s father. The other parent cannot legally deny a suspected father from taking a paternity test.
  • When the mother is married to someone else: If the mother is married when the child is born, the child’s father is automatically presumed to be her husband. This can make it more difficult to establish paternity if her husband is not, in fact, the father. To establish paternity in this situation, the father would need to prove that the husband is not the child’s father through DNA testing.
  • When the father is not listed on the child’s birth certificate: Typically when a mother is unsure of who the father was at birth, a father’s name will not be included on a birth certificate. This will initially give the father no legal rights to the child, but he can petition the court to have his name added to the birth certificate once paternity has been established.

How Can Paternity Be Established in Fort Wayne, IN?

In the state of Indiana, paternity is able to be established in a few different ways. A man in Indiana is presumed to be the father of a child if:

  • He and his wife are married when the child is born, or
  • If the child is born no later than 300 days after the marriage ends

If the above criteria are not met, paternity can legally be established in Indiana in one of two ways:

  • Paternity Affidavit, or
  • Court Order

Contact Stange Law Firm in Fort Wayne, Indiana in Allen County, IN Today

If you need assistance establishing paternity in Fort Wayne, need help enforcing paternal rights, or have any other questions about your rights as a father, contact Stange Law Firm in Allen County today. We can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have a strong relationship with your child.

We believe that no one should have to go through the paternity process alone, which is why we are happy to consult with you regarding your paternity rights. Contact us today to begin.

Allen County (Fort Wayne), Indiana Office (260-802-4402) | 110 E. Wayne St., Suite 1236, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802


Full Service Child Custody Representation

Our child custody practice focuses on protecting the wellbeing of children and the rights of parents. We handle issues such as:
Often called parenting time, visitation is the amount of time a noncustodial parent spends with his or her child. We can handle a broad spectrum of visitation matters.
Creating a parenting plan
Getting visitation rights means drafting a parenting plan that works. We can help.
Relocation with a child
Courts have continuing jurisdiction over child custody and visitation orders. So, when a parent wants to move, it is usually necessary to get the court's permission first. Failure to do so can put your time with your child in jeopardy.
Enforcement of orders
If a parent fails to follow a child custody order, it may be possible to take him or her to court to enforce the order.
Contempt of court
If you are found to have repeatedly ignored a court order, you may be found in contempt of court.
Modification of orders:
When you need a court order changed, you can work with the experienced attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC.
Custody Issues for Nonmarried Parents
Next to divorce actions, paternity cases (custody and support cases between unmarried parents) are among the most common cases in family law.
Parental Rights
Parents are often concerns about their parental rights, especially fathers in certain circumstances.
Family Access Motions
If you are being denied access to your children, you may want to consider a family access motion.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
If you have jurisdictional issues involving your custody case, you will want an attorney familiar with the UCCJEA.
Custody Evaluations
If you have a complex custody case where psychological issues or abuse may be in play, you might want to consider a child custody evaluation
Hague Convention
If you are dealing with an international child custody dispute, and perhaps child abduction, knowing about the Hague Convention is often critical.
Third-Party Custody
If you are not the biological parents, in certain cases all may not be lost. You might have a right to third party custody in certain situations.
Fertility and Surrogacy
Fertility and surrogacy is a growing area of the law for those who want children.
In some custody cases, parties might live far apart. This can result in difficult child custody cases with transportation at issue.

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