Paternity Services at Barbara Volk Madere, APLC
Parents with children born out of wedlock face unique issues when separating. Many biological fathers lack paternity rights, and are therefore barred from custody and visitation. Likewise, mothers may struggle to obtain child support from unconfirmed biological fathers. In this time of confusion, it helps to work with a respected Gretna paternity attorney such as Barbara Madere. Empathetic to the needs of local parents, Barbara Madere offers the assertive, yet caring support her clients need as they face complex paternity issues.
How Is Paternity Established in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, any child born to unmarried parents is presumed to only have one legal parent: the mother. This is true even when the mother and father are in a committed relationship — and even if they live together. Unmarried parents can establish paternity by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit. If the form is successfully processed, the father can be included on the child’s birth certificate. Typically, this document is completed at the hospital, shortly following the child’s birth.
In select cases, paternity is established while resolving child support or custody disputes. These lawsuits may call upon witness testimony or DNA testing to establish the alleged father as biological parent — or to disprove paternity claims. Genetic testing is often completed through the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services’s Child Support Enforcement division. Some individuals prefer to pursue testing privately. While testing can be completed voluntarily, alleged parents cannot legally resist testing orders from Louisiana courts.
Challenging Paternity Presumptions
While husbands are presumed the father when their wife gives birth, they aren’t always the father, biologically speaking. Disavowal of paternity occasionally occurs during divorce and ideally, within a year of the child’s birth. If the divorcing husband can prove that he is not the biological father, he may be able to avoid support payments.
No matter the nature of your paternity concerns, it’s important to work with a lawyer you trust. The right lawyer can help you either confirm or refute paternity through genetic testing or other means.
Ready to resolve your current paternity concerns? Reach out to Barbara Volk Madere, APLC at your earliest convenience to learn more about paternity law in Louisiana, and how you can bring your case to a satisfactory close.