Areas of Practice
Paternity Suits Aren’t Just For Mothers
A paternity suit has traditionally been regarded as legal protection and support for a mother against an unwilling father. In the old fashioned sense, there was an assumption that it was the mother that would be at a financial disadvantage when it came to raising a child. It was understood in these earlier eras that it was both the moral and legal obligation of a father to use his superior income to provide financial support for his child, even if he, for whatever reason, wanted nothing to do with parenthood of that child.
The “traditional” paternity suit, then, was an attempt by a mother to get the court to put a father through the process where it was firmly established that he was a biological parent to a child, and therefore now, at the order of the court, legally required to provide some form of support in raising that child.
Of course, things change, and in the 21st century, the paternity suit is not strictly a legal means for a financially disadvantaged mother.
Fathers Have Paternal Rights Too
The state of Pennsylvania recognizes that sometimes, for whatever reason, there is a dispute between a mother and father, and even though a father WANTS to have an active role in the support and raising of a child, a mother may not allow it.
This is obviously a very delicate case that requires a lot of evaluation, but a father wanting to participate in a child’s rearing can use a paternity suit to establish parental rights, and therefore be granted access and agency in child rearing.
There are numerous circumstances and conditions that need to be examined such cases, first and foremost the welfare of the child or children, and the conditions in which they are being raised, but a father CAN use a paternity suit to gain more active involvement. However, this is not something that should be done alone or impulsively. An experienced attorney in family law, like the staff at Zitomer Law, have the knowledge and experience to help people negotiate these complex, legal family issues.