Lawyer in Tri-Cities Dedicated to Helping Fathers Establish Paternity
The term paternity refers to the legal relationship that exists between a father and child. Maternity, which is the legal relationship between a mother and child, is established immediately at the time of the child’s birth. But establishing paternity is not always this simple.
Don’t try to establish paternity alone–turn to the experienced family law attorneys at Pacific Northwest Family Law for help. We will guide you through the legal process of establishing paternity and aggressively protect your rights along the way. Call 509-572-3700 now to discuss your case with our team.
Why is Establishing Paternity in Tri-Cities Important?
Establishing paternity is important for many different reasons, including:
- It allows the child to have a relationship with both parents.
- It gives the child inheritance, property, and other rights.
- Both parents can share the responsibility of parenting.
- It gives fathers the right to ask for custody or visitation rights.
Everyone in the family can benefit from a father’s decision to establish paternity.
How to Establish Paternity in Tri-Cities, Washington
Paternity is established in one of three ways in Tri-Cities:
- Parentage Action
If the parents are married or in a domestic partnership at the time of the child’s birth, it is presumed that the mother’s spouse or partner is the biological father of the child. Both parents’ names are added to the child’s birth certificate and the father automatically has parental rights.
If both parents agree on the identity of the biological father, they may sign an acknowledgment of parentage document. This form must be notarized or signed in the presence of a witness. Then, it must be submitted to Washington’s Department of Vital Statistics to officially establish paternity. This is considered a voluntary form of establishing paternity since all parties are in agreement.
The mother, father, or child can file a parentage action in court in order to establish paternity. This method is used when all of the parties are not in agreement on the issue of paternity. For example, if the mother refuses to cooperate with the unmarried father of the child, the father may file a parentage action.
If either party is unsure of the identity of the child’s biological father, the court may order DNA testing to resolve the dispute. If the tests show that the man is the child’s biological father, the court can issue an order that establishes paternity and gives the father parental rights.
How Long Does A Father Have to Establish Paternity in Washington?
Some states limit the amount of time that mothers, fathers, and children have to establish paternity. However, this is not the case in Washington. There is no statute of limitations on paternity cases in the state of Washington. This means that a father, mother, or child can establish paternity at any time.
Discuss Your Paternity Case With the Dedicated Attorneys At Pacific Northwest Family Law
A number of obstacles may arise in the process of establishing paternity. You need to be prepared to overcome them in order to reach a favorable outcome, which is why you should seek legal guidance from the paternity lawyers at Pacific Northwest Family Law. We will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case. With our help, you can finally enjoy the many benefits of being a legal parent. To schedule a consultation with our paternity attorneys, call 509-572-3700 or book your appointment online.