Paternity often plays a large role in child custody or support cases. A father may pursue parental rights after establishing paternity, and the results of these tests can have various legal implications.
If you are involved in a child custody case, or if you have questions about paternity in Chattanooga, reach out to legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney could help you better understand your rights and pursue a positive outcome in your case.
The court and the Department of Human Services oversee paternity testing and subsequent visitation or custody plans in Chattanooga. Once a father is legally established, one would have to visit the Department of Human Services to have a father’s name added to a birth certificate. A local attorney could provide further guidance on where to seek paternity testing and related legal services.
If the child is under the age of 18, the court can order them to undergo paternity testing in Chattanooga. If the child is in utero, blood testing can be done to determine paternity. However, this is a more invasive process and is not as common as swab testing. While blood tests for children in utero can be done at certain testing facilities, they are typically conducted in hospitals.
For a court to mandate any degree of custody or visitation, the individual must establish that they are the biological father of the child. As such, paternity testing is a prerequisite to a custody or visitation order.
If the party who believes they are the father and wants to establish a relationship with the child is determined not to be the father, there can be no further legal pursuit of visitation or custody. However, if a party is determined to be the father, they could establish their parental rights or even pursue legal custody of the child.
Likewise, if paternity testing confirms that an individual is not the father of a child, they have no right to custody of or visitation with the child, and they are under no obligation to pay child support. However, the individual determined to be the father has a legal right to see their child, the court can enforce the right of the custodial parent to receive child support.
Additionally, Tennessee has mandated that if a stepparent is divorcing their spouse but wishes to have visitation with their stepchild, the court may use its discretion to grant visitation and even obligate the stepparent to pay child support. This type of case would only be pursued if the stepparent desires it. A skilled lawyer in Chattanooga could further explain these implications and answer any questions about the impact of paternity test results on child custody and support.
If you wish to establish paternity, or if you are wondering how your test results may impact child custody or support, reach out to an experienced attorney. Our lawyers could answer your questions about paternity in Chattanooga and help you make informed decisions in your case. Give us a call today to set up an initial consultation.