Do You Need an Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer?
Father and baby, representing family law services provided by North Indianapolis paternity lawyer Brooke Lindsey.
Do You Need an Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer?

When paternity is not certain or has not been legally determined, family law cases can become confusing and stressful. Establishing paternity is important for both parents because it determines their rights and responsibilities regarding the child going forward. Whether you live in Boone or Hamilton counties or greater central Indiana, North Indianapolis paternity lawyer Brooke Lindsey can help you understand and successfully navigate the process.

How an Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer Can Help You and Your Family

Establishing paternity can change the entire dynamic of a family as well as provide security for the child. From parental rights to child support to parenting time, there is a lot at stake. An experienced paternity lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure that you are informed and prepared from start to finish.

Who Needs an Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer?

An Indianapolis paternity lawyer can help families in a variety of situations. For example, a mother may wish to legally establish paternity to seek support for her child, or a father may seek to establish paternity to gain parental rights and parenting time. In either example, establishing paternity may give the child security, an expanded family tree, and inheritance rights.

Establishing paternity can be especially important for parents of a child born outside of marriage. While maternity is established at birth, the identity of a child’s father requires additional formalities. Without legally establishing paternity, neither parent has full access to the courts to resolve issues such as child custody and child support. A Carmel paternity lawyer can help parents in Boone and Hamilton counties and wider central Indiana establish paternity and achieve the outcome that is best for them and their child.

How to Establish Paternity in Indianapolis

There are several ways to establish paternity in Indiana. First, under Indiana Code § 31-14-7-1, paternity is presumed if the man and the child’s mother have been or are married to each other and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage ends. The presumption also exists if the couple attempted to marry but the marriage was later voided for legal reasons and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the end of the marriage.

If paternity is not presumed by the circumstances above, Indiana Code § 31-4-3 allows an unwed mother and father to establish paternity by signing a paternity affidavit at the hospital when the child is born or at the local health department.

The last way paternity is established is through the courts, which is usually the route when the mother and father do not agree. Either a mother or a father can file an action asking the court to determine paternity. The child can also file an action for paternal determination on their own behalf.

When a paternity action is filed, the court sets a date for a hearing at which both parties must appear. At the hearing, if the mother and father do not agree on paternity, the court may require genetic paternity testing.

A knowledgeable attorney can take the guesswork out of your case and ensure that you are properly represented in court. If you live in Noblesville, Westfield, Fishers, or Carmel in Hamilton County, Lebanon or Zionsville in Boone County, or greater central Indiana, having an experienced paternity lawyer like Brooke Lindsey in your corner during a paternity proceeding is crucial.

Why Is It Important to Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity in Indiana is important for many reasons. Without legally recognized paternity, the mother of the child automatically has the right to sole custody. In addition, without establishing paternity, fathers are not entitled to exercise their paternity rights including:

  • Parenting time;
  • Custody;
  • Sharing in healthcare and medical decisions;
  • Sharing in decisions about education and general upbringing;
  • Access to the child’s records; and
  • Determining the child’s place of residence.

Without establishing paternity, mothers are not entitled to any support under the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. Fathers with established paternity are obligated to provide for the child or children, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and other expenses.

Finally, paternity entitles children to certain benefits including life insurance, inheritance rights, Social Security benefits, and veteran’s benefits, when these apply.

Get in Touch with a Knowledgeable North Indianapolis Paternity Lawyer

When you find yourself navigating a paternity case, contacting an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer is the best thing you can do. Brooke Lindsey is an experienced Indianapolis paternity lawyer who helps clients in Boone County, Hamilton County, and greater Indianapolis. When you need a paternity lawyer in central Indiana, call Brooke at 317-819-0532 or fill out this online contact form.