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You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.



You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

Paternity: What You Need To Know

by Barry Butler

When unmarried couples have a child, you may think the paternity of the child is assumed. Ideally, the two of you would remain a couple and raise your child together. Sadly, this is not always the case. If one of you decides to leave the relationship, there can be ramifications for the child as well, particularly when it comes to paternity and child custody issues. Here are some things you need to know about paternity as an unmarried couple:

Why Is Paternity Important?

As a single parent, it is critical to establish paternity once the child is born. Not only does this solidify the fact that the child has two parents, but it is also important for the mother of the child to receive help from the child's father after the relationship ends when it comes to child support and custody.

Another consideration for the establishment of paternity is access to the father's medical history. Although you may not need this information now, one day your child could incur an illness or other health issue that requires the need to look into the child's parent's medical histories to determine if there is an issue that is passed to them through genetics. If you cannot access the father's records, you may not be aware of any medical predispositions your child may have.

Are There Different Types of Paternity?

There are two types of paternity. Voluntary paternity is when the father willingly acknowledges paternity of the child. When the father is at the birth, he can sign for paternity right then and there if he wishes to have his name on the child's birth certificate. If the father is not present at the birth, he can still sign for paternity at a later time.

Involuntary paternity occurs when the father of the child does not wish to sign for paternity but is forced to at a later date. For a father to be involuntarily granted paternity, there are several steps to take. First, the mother of the child has to sign an affidavit stating the father's name. He also has to be located and contacted so he can have the opportunity to sign for paternity voluntarily. This is common when a man is not aware the woman was pregnant with his child. Genetic testing has to occur, and the test results have to be provided. The father then has the option to contest paternity if he wishes to do so. He can also accept the results and claim paternity. At that time, you can set up custody and child support arrangements. Speak with a firm like Hart Law Offices, PC to get started.