Paternity covers circumstances where two individuals have a child together, but were never married. Heckenbach Suazo LLP represents both mothers and fathers in paternity actions, and believes in promoting the best interests of the minor child, while maintaining a healthy relationship between the child and each parent. Either parent can institute a paternity proceeding, and either parent may request a blood test to establish parentage; the test is required upon request. As is the case in divorce cases involving children, even though the relationship between the parents has ended, the relationship between each parent and the child should and will continue.
How Does It Work? Once paternity is established, we will help you determine parental responsibilities and child support, based upon the same factors used to determine children’s issues in divorce cases. In general, regardless of with which parent the child comes to live, both parents will most likely have some parenting time. In addition, the parent with whom the child does not live will be obligated to contribute child support payments. Child support in paternity cases may be retroactive if the action is not instituted prior to the child’s birth. In other words, the father may be required to contribute to the costs that the mother has already expended to have and raise the child.
“We came to the firm in September 2008, looking for help in gaining guardianship of our two-year-old granddaughter. We were impressed with his professionalism, integrity, intelligence—but especially the personal care he showed for our granddaughter. He was fighting for the welfare of a little human being the way a father would fight for his own child.”
-Bob and Lois G.
“Your children are the most important things in your life, and to put the outcome of their living situation in someone else's trust can be challenging. Diane's expertise in family law and ensuring the best outcome for the child was reassuring. Her professionalism with her team, with opposing counsel and during court proceedings was exemplary.”
“Laurie Hurst is an incredibly knowledgeable, caring and talented lawyer. Her experience truly showed when it mattered the most regarding my case, and her passion and love for what she does shined through. She is not afraid to fight for what you deserve and she will do anything in her power to make it happen."