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Paternity Lawyer in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Family Law Attorney – (888) 735-5076

According to the State of Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services, more than half of all children born in the state will not have their father’s name written on their birth certificate. Whether it is the result of a clerical error or the child being born out of wedlock, uncertain paternity can lead to numerous issues as the child grows, both in terms of the child’s self-identity and ability to receive key benefits such as child support and life insurance benefits.

If you are looking to prove the paternity of your child or have run into any other paternity-related issue, contact The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan. With our Rhode Island family lawyers on your side, you can move forward through this sensitive process without any unnecessary assumptions or mistakes. With more than 35 years of dedicated experience handling some of the most complex family law cases in the state, we have what it takes to ensure your paternity issue is handled efficiently and effectively.

Read what our clients have to say about us.

Why Should You Establish Paternity?

No matter what the final outcome may be, establishing paternity is generally considered to be beneficial for all involved parties. With that being said, however, each family member may have considerably different motives for wanting to legally establish the identity of a child’s father.

Advantages of establishing paternity include:

  • Mother: If a child does not have a father’s name listed on his or her birth certificate, it can be difficult for a mother to receive any sort of financial support from the child’s father. Establishing paternity through a DNA test can be used to show that a man is financially responsible for the wellbeing of their child, thereby requiring them to pay child support.
  • Father: On the flipside, a father may want to establish paternity in order to prove his parental rights to custody and visitation. Without legal paternity, the child’s mother may prevent a father from being able to see his child. In addition, proving that a man is not the father can clear them of financial responsibility.
  • Child: A child may also benefit greatly from learning the identity of his or her biological father in that it can provide invaluable insight into their genetic history, which can be beneficial for both medical purposes and for affirming self-identity. Likewise, it can allow a child to be eligible to receive social security benefits, veteran’s benefits, and opportunities to gain inheritance.

The process of establishing paternity will generally depend on the father’s reaction to the request to accept paternity of a child. A father can accept paternity immediately after a child is born by signing the child’s birth certificate. If the father is not present at the child’s birth, he may request to acknowledge paternity later at the Office of Child Support services. Finally, if the man refuses to accept paternity, a legal complaint must be filed with the court, at which point DNA testing will be undergone. If the tests reveal that the man is indeed the father, he will be ordered to acknowledge paternity.

Consult with Our Rhode Island Family Attorneys

At The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan, our knowledgeable Rhode Island family lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you find the truth in your paternity dispute. Backed by an extensive collection of positive client testimonials and a dedication to resolving your case in the most amicable way possible, we can use our legal expertise to ensure your rights as a mother or father are upheld at the conclusion of this action. To find out more about what our team of advocates can do for you, get in touch with our office online today.