When a man or woman wants to establish “paternity of a child”, they want to establish the legal fatherhood of that child. Being the legal father of a child comes with rights, such as visitation and custody rights. When a father wants to be a part of his child’s life, establishing legal paternity is an important first step. Our Charleston family law attorney explains what you need to know when trying to secure visitation rights with your child.
Establishing Legal Paternity
The first step in seeking visitation with your child is establishing legal paternity. A child born during a marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband. If a child is born outside of marriage or if the husband is not the biological father of the child, then establishing paternity is more complicated. For fathers that were not married to the mother of the child a court order is required to establish paternity. In South Carolina, paternity can be established “voluntarily” or “involuntarily”. For whatever reason, if a mother or father does not agree on the paternity of a child, the courts can use genetic testing to determine fatherhood. A guardian ad litem may also be appointed to represent the interests of the minor child.
Once a man establishes that he has legal father rights to a child, he can pursue visitation rights. For information on father’s rights and paternity, contact our Charleston family law attorney at the Shaw Law Firm, LLC today. We can help you protect your rights to your child and preserve that special relationship.