In Minnesota, it may sometimes be necessary to establish a father’s paternity. In fact, the majority of paternity cases are filed to identify a child’s father and establish parental rights and the right to child support. In an earlier post, the concepts of acknowledged and presumed fathers and how they may play a part in a case were discussed. This week, we would like to continue and expand on the question of fatherhood and paternity.
An unmarried father may find himself in a paternity action. Traditionally, an unwed father does not have fathers’ rights. So, if the man wants to have fathers’ rights, he needs to acknowledge his paternity. If paternity is established, the man is responsible for paying child support. He also gets child custody and visitation rights.
If the father refuses to pay child support or does not pay the amount that he has been ordered to pay, enforcement measures will be taken. Child support and child welfare agencies can seek out the father who is refusing to contribute by various methods including DMV searches, social security numbers, employment records and more. Courts may garnish wages and, in some more serious cases, seek to imprison the father who is not contributing through child support as is needed.
As is clear, paternity can sometimes be a complex issue that does not have a simple, one-solution-fits-all ending. There are a number of different elements that can go into a paternity case, and those involved in such matters may want to seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney to help ensure all the proper steps are taken correctly.
Source: FindLaw, “Paternity Suit FAQs,” accessed on Aug. 25, 2015