Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer
Whether you are the father or the mother, you can come to Bowen & Associates, LLC for experienced legal representation in your paternity action. With a background in family law that spans more than a decade, our paternity lawyers in Indianapolis have helped many people in situations similar to yours and we know how important it is for you to achieve a favorable result.
We can assist you with every aspect of your case, from working with the other parent to prepare the petition to representing you in court and addressing any complications that might arise.
Contact us now for a free consultation with an Indianapolis paternity lawyer to discuss your case and take the first steps in the legal process.
Why a Paternity Action Is Necessary
When a woman gives birth to a child and was either never married or has been divorced for at least 300 days, there is no legal presumption as to the identity of the child's father. The father may sign a paternity affidavit at this time, but if he does not, then the man has no legal rights or responsibilities in respect to the child. As a result, any time that the father spends with the child will be entirely at the discretion and prerogative of the mother. Moreover, the mother will not be entitled to claim payments for child support.
Reasons to File a Paternity Action in Indianapolis
For the Father
By successfully filing a paternity action, the father makes himself eligible to go to court to request child custody or rights of visitation / parenting time. Once he has established himself as the biological father, he has a right to pursue custody and visitation and may be granted them provided that it is in the best interests of the child.
For the Mother
A mother typically files a paternity action against a man that she believes to be the father of her child with the purpose of proving the biological relationship and thereby laying the foundation for a claim of child support. You should not be forced to shoulder the full economic burden of raising your child and you have a right to demand that the father contribute toward providing for your child's needs.
For the Child
A paternity action can benefit a child in many ways, including providing him or her with the opportunity to spend time with the father and to be financially supported. With paternity established legally, the child gains access to his or her family medical history on the father's side and is able to receive organ or blood donation if necessary. The child will also be able to claim rights of inheritance, as well as receive insurance, Social Security benefits, and monetary damages in a wrongful death action.
Paternity Court in Indianapolis
The Paternity Court of the Marion County Circuit Court handles paternity actions and child support collection for Indianapolis and the rest of Marion County. In 2004, it accounted for $80 million in child support collections, money which went to 59,875 single heads of households. Paternity court does not only handle child support. It is also the venue in which a father may assert his biological relationship with his child, thereby establishing a legal parental relationship.