If you are a single mom or an expectant mother who is single, you need to take certain legal steps to ensure the future of your child. All the legal services you will need can be done by a family lawyer. The following are a few things that a family attorney can do for you.
They can assist in establishing paternity
You can point to a man and claim he is the father, but unless you establish paternity through the family courts, it means nothing. A family attorney can file a paternity suit with the man you believe to be the biological father. Blood tests will then be ordered by a judge where the chain of evidence is assured. If the DNA shows that the man is the biological father, a judge will rule that he is legally the father. At this point, paternity is established, and you can take the step of establishing the obligations of the father to support his child.
They can assist in getting a child support order
After you have established paternity, you can petition the court for child support. In most states, there is a formula used based upon the father's income. However, there may be other factors involved, depending upon your state's laws. Getting a court order for child support is important, even if you believe the father will pay his support faithfully. Circumstances can change in the future, and you may find that the father is falling behind in his payments or has stopped paying completely. If this happens and you have a court order for child support, you will have the opportunity to ask the court for an order to garnish the father's wages.
They can assist with visitation rights
If the biological father wants visitation rights, it is important that it is written down as an agreement so there are no misunderstandings. It may be a situation where you have good reason for the biological father to be stopped from any visitation at all. If there is a compelling reason, you may be able to get a restraining order against the father. It is also important to decide whether extended family members of the father will be able to see the baby or not.
If you are a single mom, you need to contact a family attorney immediately. They can assist you in establishing paternity and getting an order of child support. In addition, they can help document visitation rights and make a schedule for visitation. It is also important to know that most of the groundwork can be done before your child is born, so it is important to contain an attorney today.