Few words chill the spine for a Virginia man as much as “paternity lawsuit.” If you are on the receiving end of accusations about paternity, you need excellent lawyers who are thoroughly versed in paternity issues, and who know Virginia’s laws related to fatherhood. You could choose a firm that handles all aspects of law, but then your attorney could be spending precious little time on your paternity case in favor of another case dealing with, for example, contract law. You place your future in the hands of a lawyer who may not have the expertise to defend you against a paternity suit, a court order to take a paternity test, or the repercussions of proven paternity.
Paternity & Fathers’ Rights
In all questions relating to paternity, you need the services of good Hampton Roads paternity lawyers. We do not mean generalists who can help secure a patent for you Monday and fight a paternity suit for you Tuesday then seal a real estate deal Wednesday. We mean experienced family lawyers at who know Virginia Code inside out, who work on paternity disputes for Virginia’s men, and who wrestle with men’s legal advocacy every day.
Some men have noticed a disturbing trend in the gradual erosion of men’s and fathers’ rights in Virginia courts. Accompanying the rise of women-only attorneys, Virginia men often feel forced to agree to legal paternity even under questionable circumstances. The Firm For Men never yields in defending our male clients against false charges of paternity – we’ve been serving the men of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, and Newport News for over a decade.
Perhaps the most basic test of fatherhood—beyond a willingness to awake at all hours to change diapers and provide bottle feedings—is a paternity test. You may be facing a court-ordered paternity test, also known as a paternity order.
Virginia’s family courts may compel our client to submit to blood tests to determine paternity under Code of Virginia § 63.2-1913. This provision empowers the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) to “order genetic testing and shall pay the costs of such tests, subject to recoupment from the father, if paternity is established.”
If you are slapped with a paternity suit in an effort by a child’s mother to claim child support, you cannot afford to handle the legal issues by yourself. You need expert counsel on your side, so that DNA paternity testing to prove or disprove is done within the legal bounds and with respect for your rights.
At one time in Virginia, a child “born out of wedlock” was a child born in shame. Today, with single parenting, divorce, remarriage and step parenting, nobody raises an eyebrow at children born to single women. The women, though, often realize the precarious situation the birth leaves them in, and seek paternity actions to bring stability to their financial lives.
If you are served with a paternity suit, you need to act promptly, rather than dismiss it as unimportant. If you have reason to believe you are not the child’s father, you should have The Firm For Men working on your side quickly, to respond to the suit appropriately. Whether you are seeking establishment of paternity or disestablishment of paternity, a family law firm with the right expertise can save you countless hours of frustration and countless dollars from your bank account.
Paternity Disputes: Leave Judging to Judges
At The Firm For Men it is neither our place nor our wish to judge the men we accept as clients. If you are facing a legal action attempting to identify you as a child’s biological father, you have already ceded areas of privacy, self-esteem and pride. We will fight alongside you to recover both your rights and dignity in the face of unfair or unjust accusations in paternity disputes.
On the other hand, if legal paternity is a part of your life because of your own actions, we can help improve your situation. We value three prime aspects of Virginia life, in a strict order:
- Virginia law
- Virginia’s children
- Virginia’s men
At The Firm For Men we will do everything within the law to protect you as our client; it is our sworn duty to zealously defend you. Yet we also have an eye out for the good of Virginia’s children; the Code’s “best interests of the child” phrase. We will work with fathers to help them take legal responsibility and financial accountability for their children, so our great state’s kids grow up in financially secure households.
Paternal Law, Custody, and Visitation
Intimately connected to questions of paternal law in Virginia are issues of child custody, visitation rights, and child support.
A Virginia woman cannot expect random men to take on child support payments for children not their own; paternity tests and court proceedings dictate that paternity, but once assigned, Virginia fathers are compelled to support their children. The law firm to help you with child support issues is, of course, The Firm For Men.
While child support may be a responsibility, the reward of fatherhood is visitation rights. At The Firm For Men we are equally adept at securing visitation rights as we are at defending against wrongful accusations of paternity. It brings a special joy to our law offices when we can help build strong bonds between fathers and their children.
Another way paternity leads to strong familial bonds is through child custody, which in Virginia can be of three types:
- Legal custody — A paternity test provides sufficient evidence to gain you legal custody over your children, looking out for their medical, educational and religious needs
- Shared custody — The paternity test and proceedings under Code of Virginia § 64.2-103 can lead to a happy resolution of sharing custody of the children you and their mother created
- Sole custody — The same paternity laws that may assign you responsibility for children can also lead to a grant of sole custody of those children; The Firm For Men can argue compelling law and reasons why you should get custody of children you fathered, often because their mother is not a fit parent
Complex Issues in Paternity
Paternity is a multifaceted subject. You may be needing a strong defense against unfair charges of paternity; you may need lawyers who can defend your rights as a father. The Firm For Men is fluent in fatherhood. We can handle all sides of these complex issues:
- Pursuing rights for visitation with your biological children
- Protecting you against charges of paternity for children not yours
- Seeking sole physical custody of your children
- Turning away suits to compel you to take custody of children you did not father
- Gaining child support for your children in your physical custody after a divorce
- Pushing back against petitions for child support when your paternity is in question
For every paternity facet, two sides can exist, and you can find yourself unwittingly, unintentionally and unwillingly on either side. You need highly qualified, knowledgeable father’s rights and paternity attorneys who practice family law exclusively. You need The Firm For Men‘s paternity suit lawyers. Reach out today to schedule a consultation in our Virginia Beach or Newport News office by calling us at (757) 383-9184. We can help you deal with the ups and downs of paternity in Virginia.