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Men are sometimes required to prove or disprove paternity, either to gain their parental rights or to establish they are not responsible for a child. Any time a non-married couple has a child, it’s important to legally establish paternity, even if at the time the child is born both parents agree on the identity of the father. This way, if issues arise in the future, the man is able to show he is or is not a child’s father.

What’s the Purpose of Proving Paternity?

It’s important to remember that both the mother and father of a child are responsible for that child, regardless of their relationship status. Proof of paternity gives both parents legal standing when it comes to defending their rights and the rights of their child in court.

Paternity and Child Support

In any finding of paternity, there will be certain rights and responsibilities bestowed upon the father. The father will have standing to seek primary residential parent status if the father believes it is in the best interest of the child. In the alternative, the father may seek residential parenting time while the mother remains as the primary residential parent. In addition, the father will be responsible for child support consistent with Tennessee Child Support Guidelines.

Legal Counsel in Paternity Cases

It’s important if you are trying to establish paternity – as a father or as a woman attempting to get support – you work with an experienced professional who understands paternity proceedings and the laws that govern them. As a mother, trying to establish paternity when you are unsure of the father of your child comes with legal risks. And as a man, agreeing to sign an Acknowledge of Paternity without a guarantee you are the father can lead to your being held responsible for a child who is not biologically yours.

For more information about paternity and what you need to do if the paternity of a child is in question and you are involved, contact The Law Office of Brion L. Gardner 615.556.1287 for more information.