Why You Should Hire a Paternity Attorney

September 24, 2016

Paternity Attorney Columbus Ohio

Mothers and purported fathers can both benefit from hiring Columbus, Ohio, paternity attorneys. Establishing the identity of a child’s father significantly influences custody, visitation/parenting time, and child support. 

Working with a lawyer will help a mother make her case for requesting financial assistance with raising and caring for her son or daughter. A man who can prove that he fathered a child has enforceable rights regarding where the boy/girl lives, how the child is raised, and whether the child is given up for adoption. Conversely, a man who gets sued for child support may be able to deny the obligation by presenting evidence that he is not the father of the child whose mother he never married. 

Requesting a Paternity Test 

A person must have grounds for requesting a paternity test. Consulting with a family law attorney who has experience with paternity cases could help a man understand if he is in a position to claim fatherhood or a woman recognize whether certain men can be compelled to submit to tests. 

Your lawyer could also assist with filling out and filing the legal forms related paternity tests, requesting and serving subpoenas, and ensuring compliance with court orders. For obvious reasons, a mother who asks a man to submit to a paternity test can encounter resistance, as can a man who insists on submitting test results as part of a child custody case involving never-married parents. Your lawyer will work to overcome such obstacles. 

Ensuring DNA and Blood Samples Are Taken, Handled, and Analyzed Properly 

Ohio courts now rely primarily on DNA matches to rule on paternity when a man and woman cannot agree on the issue otherwise. Blood may also be drawn from the child and the purported father. 

Trained personnel must perform cheek swabs and blood draws. Also, each sample submitted for testing must be properly labeled and delivered to the lab with a clearly documented chain of custody. Last, certified facilities must do the tests using recently calibrated and fully functioning equipment. 

A knowledgeable Ohio paternity attorney will make sure that each requirement for ensuring test results are valid is met. Any evidence that testing procedures and safeguards were violated should make results invalid and inadmissible. If that happens, a paternity lawyer for a mother could argue for having the test redone, whereas a paternity lawyer for a suspected father could argue for having the case dropped. 

Arranging for Independent Analysis 

Positive and negative paternity test results can be subjected to second opinions. An experienced paternity attorney will arrange for independent testing of DNA and blood samples, and also consult with experts on the qualifications of the people and laboratory that performed the original test procedure. 

Going to Court 

As noted above, a judge may have to rule on the validity of a paternity test result. This usually becomes necessary when the man identified as the best candidate for being the child’s father continues to deny his fatherhood. Both the woman and the man have rights to hire lawyers to build their cases and to represent them in court. 

If you need to establish your child’s paternity or your own fatherhood, the family law attorneys in the Columbus, Ohio, offices of Edward F. Whipps & Associates may be able to help you. Call us at (614) 461-6006 or connect with us online.

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