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Paternity Attorney in Rhode Island

Establish Paternity in Your Family Law Case – (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 parentage of your child or have run into any other paternity law issue, contact The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan. With our Rhode Island paternity lawyers on your side, you can move forward through this sensitive process without any unnecessary assumptions or mistakes. With nearly 40 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.

When is it Necessary to Establish Paternity?

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

Establishing paternity serves the purpose of determining who is the father or who is not the father. It can provide a family with the answers that they need. There are many reasons an individual may choose to establish paternity and this can include:

  • Personal interests
  • Seeking custody or visitation rights
  • Seeking support
  • Learning more about the child's background
  • Learning more about their medical history
  • A child may have a right to an inheritance

Specific 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.

How to Establish Paternity in Rhode Island

The process of establishing parentage 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.

When a father is not willing to voluntarily establish paternity, the mother has the option of having a Complaint for Paternity filed through the Office of Child Support Services. The mother will need to sign the verified complaint, as well as the affidavit. The father will then have the option of admitting paternity or requesting that DNA testing be done. If the tests reveal that the man is indeed the father, he will be ordered to acknowledge paternity. In the event that the father does not respond, the court will determine that he is the father based on default.

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.