In Virginia, there is a legal presumption that any child born to a couple during a marriage is the husband's son or daughter. When a child is born out of wedlock there is no presumption as to paternity. In Virginia when the identity of the child's natural father is in question , the mother or the putative father may initiate action to establish the paternity of a child.
At the Virginia law firm of Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, our experienced Fairfax, VA family law attorneys have helped many men and women establish a father's relationship to and with his son or daughter. We can help you do the same.
Please contact us to schedule a consultation at our Fairfax, Virginia, law office to learn how your paternity issues can be resolved. You may call our firm toll free at 877-652-1553 or you may contact us online.
How Can You Establish Paternity?
There are two ways in which mothers and fathers can establish paternity of a child. The first is by a man voluntarily acknowledging that he is the father under oath. This can be done at the hospital following birth or anytime during a child's life. The second way is to have a DNA test done.
DNA testing usually occurs in one of three scenarios:
- A man files a paternity action to establish himself as the father of the child.
- A mother files a paternity action to establish that a man is the father of the child.
- A man whose paternity was previously established wishes to prove that paternity lies elsewhere.
Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?
When paternity is established the mother and father can pursue their legal rights and responsibilities regarding the custody, visitation and monetary support of a child. For example, a woman cannot pursue child support from a man denying paternity until it has been legally established he is the child's father. Men who were not married to the mother when the child was born may wish to establish paternity to secure visitation or custody rights in order to spend time with their son or daughter. If a child born during a marriage was the result of adultery, the husband may wish to show he is not the father to avoid paying child support.
Contact a Virginia Paternity Dispute Attorney for a Consultation
You may schedule your initial consultation by contacting our family law office online or by calling toll free at 877-652-1553.