Representing Residents in Lincoln, Nebraska and Throughout Lancaster County and Nearby in Paternity Matters
A Lincoln, Nebraska father’s right to be a part of a child’s life is one of the most foundational rights one can have as a father and one of the important aspects of paternity law. Paternity matters are included under the umbrella of family law and are a concept that seeks to establish a relationship between a father and his child. This relationship allows 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.
In some situations, however, the mother of the child will not cooperate in allowing the dad to have an active place in the child’s life. In these family law matters, having a diligent Lincoln paternity attorney on your side is imperative to help you fight for your rights. At Stange Law Firm, our Lancaster County paternity Lawyers have knowledge handling all aspects of paternity matters, from establishing paternity to enforcing rights. Our attorneys understand the importance of fathers being able to play an active role in their child’s life, and we will work hard to help you get the time you deserve with your child. Contact a Lancaster County family law attorney today to inquire about family law representation in your paternity matter.
What Is Paternity?
Paternity is the legal term used to describe the father-child relationship. In Nebraska, establishing paternity can happen in one of two ways:
- The father and mother can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. This form can be signed at the hospital when the child is born, or it can be signed later at the local Department of Health and Human Services office.
- A court can order paternity to be established through DNA testing. This is typically done when the mother and father do not agree on who the father is.
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.
What Legal Responsibilities Does Paternity Give the Father in Lancaster County, Nebraska?
Establishing paternity gives the father several legal rights and responsibilities including:
- 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 Nebraska, 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 Lincoln, Nebraska?
Paternity can be difficult to establish in some cases. These situations include:
- 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 Lincoln, NE?
Paternity can be established in a couple of different ways, including:
- Through DNA testing: DNA testing is the most accurate way to establish paternity. This can be done through a simple mouth swab test, which can be performed by either the court or a private company.
- Through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity: The parents can also sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, which is a legal document that states the father is the child’s biological father. This is typically done at the hospital when the child is born but can also be done at any time after the child’s birth.
- Through the court: If the parents are unable to agree on paternity, the court can order DNA testing. The court can also make a determination of paternity based on the evidence presented.
Contact Stange Law Firm in Lincoln, Nebraska in Lancaster County Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation
If you need assistance establishing paternity in Lincoln, Nebraska, need help enforcing paternal rights, or have any other questions about your rights as a father, contact Stange Law Firm in Lancaster County today. We can help make sure that your rights are protected and that you have a strong relationship with your child. Our law firm believes that no one should have to go through the paternity process alone, which is why we are willing and eager to consult with you regarding your paternity rights. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist.
Lancaster County (Lincoln), Nebraska Office (402-204-5002) | 421 S. 9th St., Suite 205, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508