Paternity Attorneys Serve Covington and Metairie Area
Big firm experience with a small firm approach
Paternity, the biological connection between a father and his child, is important to establish a father’s legal responsibilities toward the child and the child’s entitlement to certain financial benefits. When paternity is contested, usually by the putative father, Louisiana has a legal procedure to resolve the question based on scientific and other evidence. Whichever side of the dispute you are on, the attorneys at Michael D. Conroy, PLC in Covington and Metairie can counsel and represent you, advocating for a fair and accurate disposition.
Why establishing paternity is important
Paternity can be important to a child born out of wedlock for several reasons:
- To prove the right to inherit from his or her father
- To recover benefits from the father’s Social Security account
- To prove the right to child support from his or her father
- To qualify for U.S. veterans’ benefits
- To gain genetic information that might be relevant to a medical condition
- To obtain a U.S. immigrant visa or citizenship based on the father-child relationship
A child may also benefit psychologically from knowing who his or her actual father is, and it may help forge a stronger bond between the two.
How to prove paternity in Louisiana
Paternity is presumed for the husband of the mother of a child born during a marriage or within three hundred days from termination of a marriage. However, the husband may file action disavow paternity within a 180-day period running from the date of the marriage.
A man who marries the mother of a child becomes the presumptive father if, with the mother’s concurrence, he acknowledges the child by signing the birth certificate or taking some other authenticating action.
In the case of a child born out of wedlock, a father who does not contest paternity may sign a declaration of acknowledgment in front of a notary public and two witnesses.
When there is a disagreement over the father’s identity, a paternity determination may be requested by the mother, the alleged father, the child or the state. A court then holds a hearing to take evidence, which may include the child’s birth certificate and testimony from witnesses. The most reliable evidence is DNA testing.
The court may require that the mother, the alleged father and the child take DNA tests to establish their relationship. The court fixes the cost of DNA testing, which can run between $300 and $500. The person asking for the test or the person asking the court to decide paternity must pay for it initially. If the DNA test proves the accused father is the real father, he is responsible for the costs of the test and must reimburse any other party who paid. If he is not the father, the mother is responsible for the costs and must repay them if she did not do so initially.
Contact a lawyer you can trust
Whether they wish to prove or disprove paternity, people in the Covington, Metairie and Southern Louisiana communities can rely on The Michael D. Conroy, PLC for the knowledge and experience needed to guide them through the process and pursue accurate and fair results. To learn more about our offerings or to get your questions about paternity answered, call us at 985-606-3885or contact us online.