Feb 15

What Does Establishing Paternity Entail?

Every child deserves to know who his or her parents are, and legally establishing paternity can be the one way to tell your child about his or her father. Establishing paternity legally through the court system is an important step in building a bond between your child and his or her father, and the following information will teach you more about paternity and what it entails.

Why is establishing paternity so important?
Your child deserves to know who his or her father is, and they deserve to build a bond with his or her father. Paternity is also beneficial in providing your child with information about his or her heritage and medical history. By knowing who the father is, your child can be alerted to possible pre-existing medical conditions as well as understand where their family heritage was established.

Establishing paternity through the courts can also include monetary benefits such as child support. Both parents are financially responsible for their own child, and when you establish paternity, you can use this information to create a joint custody agreement that obligates the other parent to pay for some of the child’s needs or you can use the information to receive child support payments.

Along with monetary benefits, establishing paternity can also provide your child with insurance benefits as well as inheritance benefits.

How is paternity established?
There are different ways to establish paternity. First, if the mother is married when she gives birth, the husband is, by law, considered the father as long as the father is on the birth certificate.

If the mother is not married when the baby is born, there are two options to establish paternity. First, if the mother knows who the father is, and the father accepts his paternity obligations, the mother and father both sign documentation stating their maternal and paternal rights.

If the mother does not know who the father is, or if the assumed father contests his paternity, then a paternity test, usually through DNA or blood, will be taken to establish paternity.

I you are on the child birth certificate but still have doubts that you are the father of the child, it’s important to take a DNA test to make sure. It’s very unfortunate to start building a relationship with a child and start paying child support only to find our later than the child is in fact not biologically related to you. It’s also possible that you will be responsible for a child that’s not yours if enough time has passed and you’ve already built a strong relationship with the child.

How long can paternity be established?
The limitation on establishing paternity varies from state to state and county to county. However, even if your child is beyond the limitation and they want to know whom their father is, he or she and the assumed father can still opt to take a DNA test on their own. If the limitation has run out, the mother may or may not be able to collect back child support payments, depending on the laws in your specific state.

Some court houses have recommended paternity clinics that they recommend. You can contact your local court house to get instructions on their paternity procedures.

What happens after paternity is established?
Once paternity has been established, it’s up to you to determine what you want to do with the information. You can use it to create a child custody agreement between you and the father so that both parents can equally raise the child. If the father does not acknowledge his paternity, you also have the option of taking legal action against him. There are many different parenting plan options that can be incorporated into a legal and physical custody arrangement. Choosing one that is in the best interest of your child is imperative. Before deciding, weigh your options and consider the best interest of your child and what works best for you and your Ex. Keep in mind that family law courtroom judge’s don’t want both parent’s to be in a child life and don’t want children to have to choose between parents. Taking these factors into consideration can make establish paternity and custody go a lot smoother.


Feb 15

When Should I file Contempt of Court in Family Law?

Child custody issues can get ugly, and even if you have taken all the right steps and have a legal custody agreement with the court, issues can always arise.

If your ex is somehow violating your custody agreement, you can file contempt of court. Filing contempt of court means that your ex is disobeying part of your agreement, and you want the court to force him or her to follow the agreement.

When should I file contempt of court?
You can file contempt of court when your ex violates your agreement, whether on accident or on purpose. However, you may want to give your ex the benefit of the doubt on the first occurrence. For example, if your ex hasn’t yet paid you child support, you may want to ask him or her for it. If they then don’t give it to you, you can file contempt of court.

Child support isn’t the only reason to file contempt of court. You can file contempt of court if your ex is refusing to follow your visitation schedule. For example, if your ex doesn’t return your child to you at the end of visitation, or if your ex is refusing to allow you to see your child, you can file contempt of court.

How often can I file contempt of court?

Some people are quick to file at the first violation of the custody agreement, but this isn’t always the best method. Constantly filing contempt of court motions may make the situation worse between you and your ex, and it may even be expensive for you. Plus, just because your ex violated the agreement one time doesn’t mean that the court will find him or her in contempt. This means the court may let your ex go with a warning, and now you will have just created stress between the two of you without getting the resolution you wanted.

What happens if the court finds my ex in contempt?

In the instance where the judge may find your ex in contempt, there are a variety of outcomes that may occur. These outcomes are all based on the reason for contempt as well as your ex’s number of violations. First, the judge may require your ex to complete a parenting class. Second, they may require your ex to complete a therapy session.

Third, the judge may require your ex to reward you with an incentive. For example, if you are filing contempt of court because your ex didn’t allow you to see your child on your specified days, then the judge may require your ex to give you additional time with your child to make up for it. If you are filing contempt of court due to a lack of child support payments, the judge may require your ex to pay you back child support.

Finally, it’s always possible that the judge will sentence your ex to jail time. This is usually a last resort or held for those parents who have numerous violations.

No matter what, it’s important to understand that every situation and every judge is different, and there is no set resolution. Keep this in mind before you decide to file a motion.

Feb 15

Why It’s Important to Stay Involved in Your Child’s Education

Your child’s education is important to their overall development. Whether they are in kindergarten or about to graduate college, everything they learn will shape them in some way for their future.

With all the changes in the education industry, such as the use of common core, many parents are often frustrated with their child’s education. Some believe that certain subjects are a waste of time while others are not happy with a certain teacher’s philosophy.

No matter your personal feelings on your child’s education, it’s still very important that you play an active role. Whether you have regular communication with your child’s teacher or help your child with his or her homework, the following are a few reasons to stay involved with your child’s education.

You know exactly what they’re learning.
As a parent, it’s very important that you have a basic understanding of the topics your child is learning in class. Staying involved in his or her education allows you to know what exactly it is your child is learning, no matter the subject. This not only gives you insight into his or her education, but it can also help you open the lines of communication. For example, if your child is reading a book in school that you loved when you were his or her age, you can use this to spark a conversation between you and your child.

You can determine areas where they’re struggling.
No parent wants their child to struggle in school, but it’s always a possibility. When you are involved in your child’s education, you can notice areas where your child may struggle. This can come from notes from the teacher as well as your own observation during homework assignments or graded tests.

If your child is having trouble in a certain subject, you can then take the necessary steps to get your child help. For example, you may want to reach out to the teacher to see if he or she can spend some more time with your child in certain areas. If that’s not an option, you can always try to teach your child yourself or hire a professional tutor. Sometimes just taking your child out of the classroom setting and getting them help in a stress-free environment can be all they need to succeed.

You can monitor your child’s behaviors.
When something is upsetting your child, school is often the first place where your child will start to show an issue. For example, if your straight-A student suddenly starts failing every class, it’s a sure-fire sign that something is wrong. Maybe this is a sign that your child is getting bullied in school, or it could also be a sign that your child is abusing drugs.

It could also be a sign that something else is bothering your child. For example, if you and your spouse are going through a divorce, your child may show their depression or frustration by not doing schoolwork or even by acting out while in school.

When you are involved in your child’s education, you can notice these signs right away and get your child the professional help that he or she needs.