Middle Tennessee Family Law | Tiffany Johns Law Office

Paternity

Caring Tennessee Paternity Lawyer Helps Parents Set the Record Straight

Answering questions and providing solutions

As a parent, giving your child a healthy, happy life is likely your primary concern. Sometimes, however, questions about the paternity of a child can add conflicting concerns. At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our Nashville paternity lawyer supports both mothers and fathers during the quest to establish paternity of their children. Our knowledge of the law and experience handling delicate paternity cases allows us to help you pursue solutions as quickly and painlessly as possible.

How is paternity established in Tennessee?

Paternity may be established in many ways, including:

  • Voluntarily: When the father acknowledges paternity, he may agree to sign a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity at the time of the child’s birth. If the father learns of his paternity after the child’s birth, he may submit to DNA testing.
  • Involuntarily: If a father or mother refuses to acknowledge paternity, either party may file a Petition to Establish Parentage with the courts. In involuntary paternity cases, the court will likely order a DNA test to establish fatherhood.

Why is it so important for mothers to establish paternity?

Under Tennessee law, the establishment of paternity is legally required before mothers can exercise specific legal rights including:

  • Pursuing child support: In order for mothers to pursue child support from the child’s father, paternity must be legally established. This helps to ensure that fathers share the burden of raising the child, and to prevent unnecessary financial hardship for the mother and her family.
  • Obtaining state support: Certain state-run programs require the establishment of paternity before mothers can qualify for benefits, including support with food, housing and healthcare.
  • Insuring the child: Many insurance companies require legal paternity in order for a child to be listed on a policy, especially when the child is to be listed on the father’s plan. This is not always necessary, but may be a required step before the child can be covered.

Why is it so important for fathers to establish paternity?

Fathers who wish to remain a part of the child’s life benefit from the establishment of paternity for several reasons. By establishing paternity, fathers gain the legal right to:

  • Pursue custody rights: In order for a father to obtain legal custody or visitation rights, he must first establish legal paternity. Once paternity has been established, the father may petition the court for custody.
  • Participate in decision-making: Fathers who obtain partial custody or visitation rights have a better chance of playing a role in making decisions about the child’s upbringing, education and healthcare. In some cases, a judge may order both parents to work together to make these key choices.

By willingly establishing paternity, fathers often are able to enjoy a deeper, richer bond with their child and participate in their upbringing.

Children often benefit when paternity is established

Parents are not the only ones who benefit from the legal establishment of paternity. Children often enjoy better relationships with both parents, without having doubts about who their father truly is. With both parents involved in the child’s life, the child may gain a better knowledge of their family history, including heritage and medical issues.

If you have questions about the paternity of a child, schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with our Tennessee paternity attorney

At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our Nashville paternity lawyer understands how important the establishment of paternity can be to you and your child. With years of experience handling paternity cases, we have what it takes to help parents find the answers they need. To discuss your concerns with Nashville paternity lawyer  Tiffany Johns, call us at 615-771-6944 or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations and flexible payment options to better serve your family’s needs.

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