Top Five Reasons to Pursue Paternity Actions in Orange County
Among certain ethnic groups, most children are born out of wedlock. Many of these mothers should probably file paternity actions. Even if the father signs the birth certificate, that man may not be the legal father.
But there are many reasons many women hesitate to do so. Some fear that an abusive father may learn their address. Others worry that a paternity finding makes it easier for the father to wrest custody away.
Both these fears are legitimate, and a Maitland paternity lawyer can overcome them both. For example, most courts seal judicial records, especially personal information, upon a showing of good cause. And, many fathers will think twice about launching a custody fight if they know the mother has an effective attorney in her corner.
So, a paternity action is usually a good idea. Here are some reasons why.
Genetic DNA testing is completely non-invasive and completely reliable. Additionally, most paternity actions settle out of court, so a DNA swab may be unnecessary. In many cases, even if the action is contested, the mother files a petition, the judge orders a DNA test. If the father repeatedly refuses to provide a sample, there is usually only one reason for such intransigence.
Enforceable Ground Rules
Many unmarried parents have excellent relationships, and they cooperate in parenting time matters without incident. In other situations, exchanges are a bit more worrisome. A paternity order helps in both these situations. The informal arrangement that works so well becomes a formal arrangement that one party cannot unilaterally change. And, if there is pick-up and drop-off drama, many paternity orders specify exchanges in public places. Other ground rules include protective orders and supervised visitation, if needed.
Financial support is perhaps one of the biggest reasons to pursue an Orange County paternity action. More than just reimbursement, these support payments raise the standard of living for your child. This support could include:
- Child support,
- Health insurance enrollment, and
- Expense reimbursement for the mother’s birthing costs.
If either party’s financial circumstances change later, a judge will probably modify these support payments.
Incentive to Change
Many times, legal documents have emotional effects. That’s certainly true with regard to name change and adoption. These things help blended families feel closer together. Sometimes, a paternity order has the same effect. If support payments and personal visitation have been sporadic, the discipline of a court order may provide incentive to change. Even if it does not, there are still a number of other benefits, as outlined above.
Reach Out to an Experienced Lawyer
If you are a single mother, you should at least seriously consider filing a paternity action. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Maitland family attorney, contact The Troum Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.