Montgomery County Unmarried Parents Rights Attorney
In most family law matters, the primary goal of a proceeding is to establish or modify a parenting time plan. Sometimes, however, the primary purpose is to establish the parent-child relationship itself. Once the judge creates these legal bonds, the judge has jurisdiction to determine things like parenting time divisions and child support payments. These legal bonds have some emotional benefits as well.
The experienced Montgomery County unmarried parents rights attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand routinely handle these matters in nearby jurisdictions. This experience has enabled us to develop proven methods which deliver permanent and cost-effective solutions for unwed mothers and fathers. This experience also allows us to resolve most of these disputes out of court. Such resolutions save time and create a better framework for future co-parenting interaction.
Why Obtain a Paternity Order
Both mothers and fathers benefit from paternity cases. This avenue is the only way to establish a legal parent-child relationship. At best, a signature on the birth certificate only established an administrative relationship.
Mothers benefit financially and emotionally. Most paternity orders include child support provisions. If the father is working, the employer usually must withhold money and send it directly to the mother. Additionally, mothers can obtain reimbursement for hospital bills and other expenses.
Emotionally, paternity orders establish clear parenting time ground rules. Life becomes much more predictable. Life becomes safer as well. Most paternity orders include permanent anti-stalking injunctions. Furthermore, provisions like address masking and custody/visitation exchanges at neutral locations are common as well. Moreover, if the child gets sick, doctors have access to a complete family medical history, as opposed to half a history.
Fathers benefit financially and emotionally as well. Generally, fathers receive no credit for informal support payments. Additionally, mothers can easily argue that they did not receive the payments, or at least did not receive them on time. Once court orders are on the books, these payments usually go through third party clearinghouses, so there are no disputes.
The emotional benefits usually outweigh these financial benefits. A paternity order means guaranteed visitation time and a guaranteed right to attend school plays and other such functions. Additionally, only legal fathers can ultimately become residential parents, at least in most cases.
What to Expect
Paternity matters are among the most straightforward family law cases in Pennsylvania. Generally, a non-invasive DNA swab test is conclusive. Once the results of this test are in, only the details remain. And, Pennsylvania’s co-parenting law guarantees roughly equal parenting time. Child support is also rather straightforward, in most cases.
Mediation often resolves disagreements over the details. A third party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Montgomery County family law attorney, tries to facilitate an agreement between the two sides. If both parties negotiate in good faith, which means they try hard to work out their differences, mediation is usually successful.
Most families, and their needs, change frequently. When that happens, a motion to modify custody, support, or other provisions is usually in order.
Connect with a Reliable Attorney
Paternity orders make unstable situations more stable. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Montgomery County, contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Home, virtual, and after-hours visits are available.