At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we have nearly two decades of experience working with Boston men and women on paternity cases. The two most common situations we encounter include mothers who are seeking child support from fathers, and fathers who are seeking visitation rights or shared custody.
In Massachusetts, a mother cannot seek child support, and the father cannot seek visitation, unless the paternity of the child has been determined. Once paternity has been established, the mother can seek child support, and the father has the right to visitation with his child.
If you are seeking child support or believe that you are the father of a child, our family law attorneys are available to assist you. We offer a free consultation to begin the process of learning about both your rights and responsibilities as a parent. We can also provide you with information regarding DNA testing and what it can mean for your case. Call (617) 870-0907 to schedule a consultation.
The law does not recognize a male as the father of a child until paternity is determined. A paternity case begins by filing a petition in Family Court. Next, the party filing the petition will file a motion to request that the paternity test be ordered. The court typically orders the test and schedules a hearing for a date after the test results will be available. At that time, the determination is made if the man is the father of the child. If the paternity test is negative, then the case is closed. If the result is positive, then the court will issue a temporary order for child support, which includes the amount to be paid, as well as the father’s visitation schedule. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on custody, visitation, and child support, then a trial will begin to determine these issues.
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The Court’s Goal
The goal of the family court is to determine what will be in the best interest of the child. This can pertain to who can provide the best care and home environment, as well as financial security. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a formula used to determine the amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent.
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Because life is ever-changing, there is a process to modify rulings on child custody and child support. There are many events that can justify a request for modification, such as the loss of a job, a decrease in wages, a new higher paying job, and even a transfer or job relocation. It is important for parents to understand that children are entitled to financial support until the age of 18, 21, or 23, depending on if the child is in school.
Determining the paternity of a child can be a life-altering event for both the mother and the father. The process can be very emotional, and also filled with anxiety. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C. we have nearly two decades of experience working to secure the best financial future for the children of our clients. Call (617) 870-0907 today to schedule a free case evaluation with a Boston family law attorney.