What You Need To Understand About Paternity In Massachusetts
Parents have certain rights and responsibilities for their children, and courts recognize this by awarding visitation rights and child support after a divorce. However, if a child is born out of wedlock, establishing paternity, and therefore parental rights of the father, can be more challenging.
Once a child has left the hospital in which they were born, the question of paternity can still linger. And when that becomes a problem, you deserve help from a firm with the experience you need. At Koiles Pratt Family Law Group, we have assisted clients across north Boston and Essex county with any paternity issue.
In Massachusetts, a child is designated to receive child support and other financial support until the age of emancipation. This could be at the age of 18, 21 or 23, depending on the child’s specific circumstances, including:
- Whether the child is enrolled in school
- Whether the child still lives with and is dependent on a parent
- Whether the child is mentally or physically disabled
When a child’s father is not known at birth, paternity can be established through DNA testing.
Once paternity has been established, a father has certain legal rights. He can seek child custody, visitation and other rights through a court order. Fathers are often also granted the right to make decisions about the upbringing of their children, including decisions concerning education, finances and where they live.
We assist clients in establishing paternity, and we help parents make plans concerning child custody and visitation. If you have legal concerns regarding paternity or any issue related to paternity, contact our lawyers for a confidential case assessment, or call us at 978-744-7774.