Virginia Beach Paternity Lawyer

Being the father of a child is normally a happy time, full of joy and dreams about what the future may hold for you and your child. Nonetheless, in some circumstances, there may be questions as to the paternity of the child. You may be in a situation where you are unsure if you are the biological father, or perhaps you are the mother of a child and wish to pursue legal action in order to establish paternity for your child. In either circumstance, the process can be lengthy and full of child custody legal issues that you will need to address in order for paternity to be confirmed or denied. At Parks Zeigler, PLLC our Virginia Beach paternity lawyers can assist you in whatever legal capacity that you may need as we work to resolve your issue.

How to Establish Paternity

In Virginia, the term paternity refers to being considered the legal father of a child. It is possible to be the biological father of a child but not be the legal father. One example of this can be in cases of adoption or step-parent adoption.

In order to be entitled to the rights that come with being the legal father of a child, you must first legally establish paternity. If the child was born outside of the legal boundaries of marriage, you have no presumption of paternity. You are also not allowed to seek visitation rights or custody of your child if your name does not appear on the birth certificate. On that same note, your child is not entitled to any benefits from you, such as health insurance, veteran’s benefits, or assets that you leave behind after your death.

There are two specific methods that you and your attorney in Virginia Beach may utilize in order to establish paternity. They are as follows:

Sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP)

These forms are usually available at the hospital. In order to complete them, both you and the mother of your child must sign them in front of a witness. However, the hospital is not the only location in which you have the opportunity to fill out this form. If you wish, you may also obtain one from the Health Department as well. Signing this form will ensure that the birth certificate includes the father’s name.

Submit to Genetic Testing

Genetic testing, such as a DNA test or blood testing, is available and is a resource that can both confirm or deny paternity. In order to establish paternity, the test must affirm with a 98% probability that you are indeed the child’s father. You may have the test performed through the use of a private lab or through the Department of Social Services, in which the Commonwealth of Virginia analyzes the test results.

Who Normally Gets Custody of a Child if the Parents Are Not Married?

If the issue of paternity is legally established, there is no presumption of child custody in favor of either the mother or the father. Each parent has the legal ability to file for both legal and physical custody of the child. As is always the case, the court will make a determination on issues related to custody based on what is in the best interest of the child. In general, Virginia courts tend to favor the primary caretaker if the child is very young. However, over time the circumstances of the case may change and thus warrant a modification of the custody arrangement. An attorney in Virginia Beach can help with custody rights once a father established paternity.

Why Should I Hire a Paternity Lawyer to Help me with my Case?

All legal issues can be complicated and, at times, very difficult to understand. This is most certainly the case when it comes to issues of paternity. Often there is a tremendous amount of paperwork and time that may be spent in court deciding issues that relate to your case.

Because of the highly emotional nature of these particular cases, having a knowledgeable and highly skilled Virginia Beach lawyer can help reassure you that the paternity issues you have to deal with are handled in a proper manner and will be resolved.

Call a Virginia Beach Paternity Attorney to Discuss Legal Options

The attorneys at our law firm are dedicated to assisting you and ensuring that both your legal rights are upheld as well as working toward what is in the best interest of the child. Contact our legal team at Parks Zeigler, PLLC, and schedule a consultation with one of our Virginia Beach paternity lawyers. We eagerly look forward to serving you.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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