When you are taking steps to obtain child support from your child’s biological father, dealing with questions of paternity can be complicated and frustrating. On the flip side, it can also be difficult for parties who are seeking visitation but need help establishing paternity in order to have parental rights. At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC, we know how confusing and difficult paternity cases can be, and our firm is here to help. We provide individualized attention to each of our clients, and we are reachable 24/7. If you have a question that comes up in the evening or on a weekend, you should not have to wait to speak with an attorney.
A Jackson paternity attorney is here to assist with your case. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm to learn more about the services we provide to Mississippi residents.
Why is Establishing Paternity Important?
There are numerous reasons it is important to establish paternity, including but not limited to the child’s right to:
- Healthcare and medical history information;
- Child support; and
- Other forms of support.
Legal paternity can be established at many different points in the child’s life, including:
- At the hospital at or around the time of birth;
- After leaving the hospital; and
- Any point before the child reaches the age of majority;
The establishment of paternity can be voluntary or involuntary, and there are steps for establishing paternity in the latter situation. If you have questions, a Jackson paternity attorney can assist you.
Paternity and Parental Obligations Under Mississippi
Generally speaking, when a child in Mississippi is born out of lawful matrimony, questions of paternity may arise. Paternity matters in our state fall under Title 93, Chapter 9 of the Mississippi Code. Under Mississippi Code Section 93-9-7, the law makes clear that the biological father of a child “born out of lawful matrimony is liable to the same extent as the father of a child born of lawful matrimony.”
What does it mean when the law says that the father is liable? In short, a biological father, regardless of whether he is married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, is responsible for expenses related to the education, maintenance, support, and health care of the child.
Petitioning for the Determination of Paternity
How is paternity determined, and who starts the process? Under Mississippi Code Section 93-9-9, numerous parties can petition for the determination of paternity, including:
- Child; and/or
- Public authority charged with the support of the child.
This petition must occur before the child reaches the age of 18. Depending upon the specific circumstances of the case (including whether the putative father acknowledges or disputes paternity), then the Mississippi Department of Human Services can issue “an administrative order for paternity testing which requires the mother, putative father and minor child to submit themselves for testing,” under Section 93-9-21 of the Mississippi Code. If a putative father refuses to submit to genetic testing, the court still has the power to establish paternity. How does this work? In brief, if a putative father will not submit to testing, the court will review the refusal to submit and will make a determination about paternity.
Contact a Jackson Paternity Attorney
Establishing paternity can be a complicated process for all parties involved. A Jackson paternity attorney can help with your case. Contact Derek L. Hall, PC the Heavy Hitter, today to get started.