Anoka Paternity Rights Attorney
Paternity Rights Cases in Minnesota
When a child is born to a married woman, it is legally assumed that her husband is the father. But when a child is born out of wedlock, paternity is not presumed. To be legally viewed as the child’s father and claim a father’s rights, paternity must be recognized, or a court order obtained.
If you need to establish your paternity rights in Minnesota, call (763) 292-2102 to connect with the Anoka paternity rights lawyers of Bolt Law Firm. We take pride in being able to fairly represent and guide fathers through unclear legal processes. It is our goal to make sure that your family feels together and stable by the time your case concludes.
You can request a free consultation with our firm to learn more.
Paternity Rights & Obligations
A man who is the legal father of a child has certain paternity rights and obligations. In Minnesota, if a child’s parents are not married, the father is not automatically the “legal” father. He does not have paternity rights nor the duties of a legal father. Even if the man’s name is on the birth certificate, he is not the legal father if he is not married to the mother. An unmarried mother and father can sign and file a Recognition of Parentage and the father then have a legal relationship with the child.
What such a form provides includes:
- Legally establishing the biological father's paternity.
- Creating and waiving certain rights and responsibilities.
- Allowing the child to have the father's name on the birth record.
- Creating a basis for child support.
If the mother and father do not agree to a Recognition of Parentage, it may become necessary to establish paternity by court order. The services of a paternity lawyer can help achieve the best possible outcome. Also, though, a Recognition of Parentage will not establish custody or parenting time.
Child Custody Rights for Fathers & Mothers
When a child is born to unwed parents, the custody rights of both parents are determined by default until either party seeks a court order for custody. If the father has only acknowledged paternity, or a court has established paternity, then by default, the mother has legal and physical custody of the child. Because of this, unwed fathers may find it difficult to take responsibility and gain access to their children. Either party may seek an order establishing their custody and parenting time rights.
In Minnesota, there are two types of child custody:
- Legal custody: The right to make decisions about how to raise the child. This includes making decisions concerning education, health care, and religious upbringing.
- Physical custody: The right to make decisions about where the child lives and the everyday activities of the child.
- Joint custody: When both parents have the right to legal and physical custody, whether they are married or not.
- Sole custody: When only one parent has full legal custody and/or physical custody of the child, which often happens if one parent is deemed unfit for parenthood by the court.
Paternity for Unmarried Parents
As mentioned, unmarried fathers face the biggest legal challenges to get custody rights. The court will not give them automatic paternity rights, and they will have to set out to achieve them. In an ideal situation, the mother of the child will want to share custody with the unmarried man, such as if a couple is dating, not married, but wants to have a child together. Millennials are making this sort of family group more common because they want to avoid the legal and tax complications of marriage.
Fight for Your Right to Custody – Call Now
There is any number of reasons why parents, whether unmarried, married, or seeking a divorce, would need guidance on the custody of their child or children. The arrangements for each child may need to be different as well. Custody agreements sometimes need revising. A custody rights attorney can help you develop the adjustments for an appropriate agreement.
An experienced Anoka paternity lawyer or custody rights lawyer with our firm can help parents navigate the paternity and custody rights process. We’ll help determine if the dispute can be settled outside of court, and work to achieve the best possible outcome.