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Paternity

Paternity Lawyers in Carmel, IN

From DNA Testing to Child Custody Hearings In & Around Indianapolis

For never-married parents, establishing paternity helps protect the future of your children. By officially documenting the identity of a child's biological father, an unmarried mother can then begin the process of holding him accountable for contributing to the financial needs of raising a child. 

Child support payments can be sought through the courts to ensure that the child benefits from both parental incomes. 

On the other side, as a potential father, you have the right to know if you are the biological parent of a child. This allows you to secure an emotional and beneficial bond with your child and also gives you the option of requesting visitation or custody rights

Our paternity lawyers at Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela LLC can help you accomplish these goals in Carmel, Indianapolis, and throughout Central Indiana.

Contact us at (317) 569-2200 to schedule a consultation with a Carmel paternity attorney.

Benefits of Paternity for All Parties

Establishing paternity brings about many benefits for mothers, fathers, and children alike. These benefits span financial, legal, emotional, and health-related domains. 

Here is a breakdown for each party:

Benefits for Mothers:

  • Financial support: Establishing paternity often includes provisions for child support, which can help to cover the costs of raising a child.
  • Shared parental responsibilities: Fathers may have legal obligations to share parenting responsibilities once paternity is established. This may be especially beneficial for mothers who work, are self-employed, or travel for business or their career.
  • Respite: An additional caregiver can provide mothers physical and emotional downtime.
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Why Choose RMRK?

Qualities that Break the Stereotype
  • Placing a focus beyond the case to understand our clients’ objectives and big-picture goals.
  • Listening to and collaborating with our clients to develop a shared strategic vision.
  • Accomplished attorneys who are annually rated by their peers for inclusion on the prestigious list of Indiana SuperLawyers.
  • Unafraid to make difficult decisions and eager to confront the challenges facing our clients.

How Can Paternity Be Established in Indiana?

Men are considered legal fathers when married to the child’s mother at the time of a child’s birth. If the marriage has ended, they are still generally deemed to be the father after a child’s birth up to 300 days after the end of the marriage. 

Absent the above, paternity may be legally established as follows.

Paternity affidavit: This legal document can be signed by both parents, acknowledging the man as the biological father. This can be done at the hospital within 72 hours of the child's birth or at the local health department any time after that. Once completed, the father will be listed on the child’s birth certificate. 

Court order: If disagreement or uncertainty exists about the identity of a child's father, either parent or the child, through a representative, can file a petition to establish paternity in court. Once the paternity establishment action is initiated, the court will schedule a hearing after first notifying both parties.  

During this hearing, the parties can mutually acknowledge paternity without further action or petition for genetic testing to ascertain paternity. The court may also consider evidence and decide whether paternity should be recognized. 

If the court mandates genetic testing, the parties involved will undergo the process, and the court will postpone the paternity decision until the results are available. 

Genetic testing, often called DNA testing, can be requested by either parent or the county child support office. If the man is determined to be the biological father, the court will issue an order establishing him as the legal father.

Department of Child Services (DCS): DCS may initiate a paternity action if the child receives public assistance. This process is similar to a court order and may involve genetic testing.

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Working to Minimize Conflict so You Can Move Forward with Your Life

As your paternity lawyers at Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela LLC, we aim to help you seamlessly move from one stage of life to the next. We provide compassionate counsel and wise goal-setting advice through the entire paternity process. 

Whether you need to establish paternity in Carmel or anywhere else in Central Indiana, you can count on us to help you seek a favorable resolution with your child’s best interests in mind.

Reserve a case evaluation with one of our Carmel paternity attorneys by contacting us at (317) 569-2200

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