A generation ago, out-of-wedlock births were quite rare. But things have changed a lot since the 1960s. Now, such births are the norm, at least among some population groups. These families must overcome some unique emotional, financial, and other obstacles. Paternity orders are a great help. Some of the key benefits are outlined below.
As far as Buffalo family lawyers are concerned, these matters are usually rather straightforward. A man’s signature on a birth certificate is not conclusive proof of paternity, but it does create a nearly-irrebuttable presumption. In other cases, most men agree to paternity. In other cases, the judge usually orders a DNA test. These tests are incredibly accurate and completely non-invasive. And, if the alleged father refuses to provide a sample, the judge normally assumes the results would have been positive.
Regular child support payments might be the biggest financial advantage of a paternity order. Additionally, a court order gives mothers access to a number of enforcement tools, such as wage garnishment and payment intercept, if they become necessary.
Minnesota is an income share state. So, child support payments help children have the same lifestyle they would have had if their parents were married.
Other financial support might be available as well. For example, a Buffalo family lawyer can insert language ordering the father to provide partial reimbursement of hospital and other birth expenses. And, child support orders usually require obligors (people paying support) to include the children on group health insurance plans.
Some mothers are reluctant to file paternity actions because they do not want the fathers to know where they live. That’s quite unfortunate, because in many cases, a paternity order is the best way to protect mothers and their children.
Many paternity orders include either temporary or permanent protective orders. These orders routinely prohibit fathers from coming to certain places, like the mother’s place of business, or doing certain things, like interfering with utility services. Other provisions might order fathers to surrender firearms or attend anger management classes.
These protective orders are more than pieces of paper. Law enforcement might not quickly respond to things like stalking reports. But if the stalking involves the violation of a court order, the outcome is usually different. Additionally, court orders allow mothers to give third parties, like daycares and schools, formal notice about the situation.
Enforceable Visitation Limits and Buffalo Family Lawyers
Many parents have informal visitation arrangements which work very well. In other cases, however, establishing a consistent schedule is quite difficult. These arrangements are especially hard on young children who need stability and predictability.
Paternity orders include parenting time schedules. Everyone falls into a visitation routine. And, if circumstances change, a Buffalo family lawyer can modify these provisions later.
Access to Medical Records
Family history is a significant part of many medical diagnoses, especially serious chronic conditions like diabetes or heart problems. If the child has no legal father, the doctor only has access to half the family history. A paternity order gives doctors the legal authority to obtain the information they need.
On a related note, paternity orders give mothers the right to control access to things like educational and counseling records.
Additional Paternal Responsibility
A Buffalo family lawyer almost always obtains the relief outlined in the above sections. This final benefit does not happen in all cases, but it does happen in most of them.
Frequently, court orders encourage fathers to step up to the plate, both financially and emotionally. Before a paternity order, child support payments might occasionally trickle in. But once court supervision begins, these payments are normally much more consistent. Emotionally, the same thing often happens. Fathers who dropped by once or twice a month are usually at the appointed exchange place at the appropriate time. Children benefit, especially in terms of these emotional changes.
Connect with a Compassionate Attorney
Paternity orders make family life easier. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo family lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Wright County and nearby jurisdictions.