If you have been accused of being the father of a child, there are several things that you need to be aware of. The following are four of the most important.
Do not run away from the accusation
Unless you know for sure that you're not the father, you need to find out if the accusation is true. It is possible that there is a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps you were at a party and a woman confused you with someone else. But usually, a man knows the woman making the claim and also had sex with her at least once, so in most situations, you must assume that the child could be yours. It is better to find out now, rather than wait and possibility get hit with a large bill for back child support.
Do not sign any papers or agree to private DNA tests
After the child is born, you may find yourself at the hospital or in another environment where you first see the baby. You may be tempted to accept responsibility without scientific evidence. You also may be handed a Declaration of Paternity form. Do not sign this. In fact, do not sign any legal papers without consulting an attorney. In addition, do not agree to private DNA tests. Although it is possible to have this done accurately, if the tests show you are not the father, you will not be legally excluded as the father unless a judge rules on it. For this reason, DNA tests should be done through the family court system.
Hire an attorney for legal advice
Attorneys that specialize in paternity can be found under the category of family law. You will want to hire one with experience in this area of law. Although the laws are similar from one state to another, there are differences between states. The place where the child is born will determine which state laws apply. An attorney will be able to help coordinate the genetic testing between you, the mother and the child, and do this through the courts.
An attorney can assist in the child support agreement
If you find out that the child is yours, a lawyer can draw up the agreement for child support and visitation. Knowing the particulars of a child support agreement will reduce the chances of communication problems. And if you plan on being a part of your child's life, knowing which days you will be able to visit will help bring structure to the child's life at an early age.
Remember, do not assume anything when you are informed of fatherhood. Seek out the advice of an attorney, and always have DNA testing done through the court system.
For more information, talk with a lawyer or visit websites like http://www.scottandscottlaw.com.