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Paternity Issues

Whether you are trying to establish paternity or deny paternity, you need legal assistance to effectively protect you. The issue of paternity often rears its head in conjunction with issues of child support. Because the financial well-being of a child is at stake, the courts take great care to determine paternity issues fairly and accurately. At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we are dedicated to helping your family by resolving your paternity issues in a satisfactory fashion.

To help establish a clear understanding of paternity cases, it is important to understand the meaning of paternity. Paternity is defined as the state of being a father. However, “being a father” has many nuances, and means different things to different people. In the absolute simplest terms, there are two ways to be a father:

  • Biologically — Being the biological father of a child is one way to establish paternity.
  • Legally — Adopting a child is another way to establish paternity and become a father.          

These are very different ways a man can become a father. Sometimes, questions arise that involve overlap of these instances. For example, the biological father of a child may be kept from the child by the mother. When the parties are not married and this arises, a suit to establish paternity not only determines the biological instance of being a father, but also the legal instance of paternity. When the parties are married, the husband of the mother is presumed to be the legal father of the child. Still yet, there are those instances where the issue of paternity arises due to either the biological or legal father’s dispute over child support payments. In that instance, determination of fatherhood also determines responsibility for payment of child support.

Schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable Minnesota family law attorney for aid with issues involving determination of paternity. We are focused on your family and its needs and know that establishing paternity helps resolve several issues, including legal rights to a child as well as the obligation to pay child support.

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