When a child is conceived and the parents are not married, it is important to establish the legal rights and responsibilities of each parent to the child. In a paternity case, parents can seek an order from the court regarding the following issues:
- Establishment of paternity, that is, who is the child’s legal father.
- Determination of custody and parenting time.
- Determination of child support and responsibility for day care expenses.
- Retroactive child support, which is support for the period of time after the child’s birth to the time a decree of paternity is entered with the court.
- Health insurance coverage for the child.
- Payment of uninsured medical expenses for the child.
- Payment for the reasonable expenses for the mother related to the pregnancy and delivery.
When a child is born, many fathers sign a notarized acknowledgment of paternity. When this is done, a legal presumption is made that he is the child’s father. However, issues of custody, parenting time, and financial support still need to determined through a custody and support action.
If the alleged father denies paternity, or if paternity is uncertain, genetic testing may be necessary to determine paternity.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services provides services to parents for establishing a paternity and child support order. However, this state agency will not assist parents in addressing matters of custody, parenting, or the payment of day care or uninsured medical expenses.
If you are facing an issue of paternity, custody, or financial support with the parent of your child, contact our office to schedule a consultation with the experienced legal team at Koenig│Dunne to protect your rights and the best interests of your child(ren).