Orange County Paternity Lawyer
A generation ago, single parent births were almost unheard of. Now, such births are the norm, especially in certain socioeconomic groups. Single mothers are perfectly capable of raising children, as long as they have some help. For their part, even if a single father signs a child’s birth certificate, that doesn’t create a legal relationship. At most, that signature only creates an administrative relationship, mostly for child support purposes.
The dedicated Orange County paternity lawyer at The Law Office of Robert Sunshine are committed to helping families, no matter what they look like or whether they live together. Paternity orders, whether the child was just born or the parents have had an informal timesharing relationship for years, is an important part of that commitment. We put children first in every case we handle, but we never forget that our clients have legal and financial rights. We’re also committed to upholding those rights.
Benefits for Mothers and Fathers
We mentioned informal relationships above. Frequently, a paternity action has little or nothing to do with determining biological paternity. Instead, these orders focus on the financial and emotional aspects of co-parenting a child. Regardless of the child’s age or the family’s situation, paternity actions benefit mothers and fathers alike.
For mothers, a paternity order usually means stable child support. Without a court order, most fathers pay what they want to pay. With a court order in place, most fathers pay what they’re obligated to pay. If that doesn’t happen, various enforcement tools are available.
A paternity order also means a set parenting time division. This formal division means no more “I want to see my son” texts at unusual hours.
Furthermore, a paternity order protects a mother’s privacy. If necessary, an Orange County paternity lawyer can mask the mother’s address and arrange for visitation pickup and dropoff at a neutral location, like a park. On a related note, paternity orders also often contain anti-stalking and other protective measures.
Paternity orders benefit fathers as well. The aforementioned regular visitation schedule is a good example. This schedule allows fathers to plan their lives better.
Other benefits include a child support payment portal, the right to attend important activities, and the chance to be a dad.
Payments via an online payment portal leave a clear paper trail. Additionally, legal fathers not only have the right to attend events like piano recitals. They also have the right to be notified of such events in advance. Finally, full custody might not be on a father’s radar at the time the order is entered. But a paternity order could be a stepping stone toward full custody.
The vast majority of civil cases, including paternity cases, settle out of court. However, paternity matters usually involve some legal proceedings.
These proceedings often include a paternity test. These tests usually involve non-invasive DNA swabs. The results come quickly and are almost 100 percent accurate. In vitro paternity tests, which may become more common now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, are a little more complex.
Once paternity is established, if it’s even an issue, the two sides negotiate the terms of the agreed order, usually in terms of parenting time. Generally, a mathematical formula sets the child support amount.
If informal negotiations stall or break down, most Orange County judges appoint a mediator to oversee the talks. The mediator ensures that both sides negotiate in good faith. Because of this additional requirement, and also because no one really wants these matters to go to trial, mediation is about 90 percent successful.
Rely on a Compassionate Orange County Paternity Lawyer
Family law matters almost always involve emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County paternity lawyer, contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. We routinely handle matters in Rockland County and nearby jurisdictions.