Establishing the paternity of a child is important for many reasons. For starters, it allows the father of the child to enjoy the rights that belong to him. A paternity petition is also necessary to resolve issues regarding child custody and visitation. Paternity simply pertains to the legal status of a father to his child.
There are three ways to be considered the father of the child: acknowledgment, adjudication and presumption. If a person signs an acknowledgment of paternity they can be listed on the birth certificate when the child is born. The only issue arising through the voluntary method is when a man has a sliver of a doubt as to whether or not he really is the father of the child. If that man wants to be fully sure if the child is his, he can request for a paternity test to be conducted. This is needed because once his name is added in the child’s birth certificate, it will be very difficult to change or retract or revoke.
Establishing Paternity through a Petition
Aside from the voluntary acknowledgment, one can file a paternity petition in the court. In New Mexico, this petition can be filed by interested parties, such as the child’s mother, the child’s father, the child’s guardian, the department of social services or even by the child. Upon filing the petition, the court will order paternity testing. The mother, child, and father will have to use something more than an at-home DNA test kit to accurately determine who the father of the child is. The court will oversee the testing.
This process will put to rest all the claims of a mother against the alleged father of her child. It will also confirm, once and for all, if a man who denies paternity is indeed the father of the child. On the other hand, an alleged father who doesn’t want to undergo DNA paternity testing can still be ruled by the court as the father of the child simply because he wouldn’t cooperate.
Whether you want to file for a paternity petition or if you are the respondent in one, it is best that you hire a lawyer who can help you out with the case. A paternity case is not a simple case because its result could mean rights and responsibilities for the father. To be guided about the entire process, it is highly encouraged that you consult with a respectable family law firm in Albuquerque, NM.
Advocates New Mexico can help greatly in paternity cases and petitions. Regardless if you’re the mother, father or guardian, we can help you achieve the results that you want. We can assist you regardless of the reason why you need to establish paternity.
Through the assistance of a family lawyer, you can be sure that your rights are protected. You’re also assured that the results of the paternity test will remain confidential. Do note that the use of an at-home paternity test is not admissible by the court. Once the petition is made, the parties have to adhere with how the court wants the test to be done.