Fathers in Minnesota can face enormous obstacles when it comes to establishing and enforcing their parental rights. Many men have difficulty when it comes to seeking custody and visitation rights, making decisions on behalf of their child, and understanding their obligations to pay child support.
One of the most important things men can do if they are facing any of these situations is to first seek a paternity test. Seeking a paternity test can make it much easier to resolve the other issues because it establishes whether a man is the biological father of a child or not.
If a man is found to not be the father, he can avoid being ordered to make child support payments for a child that is not his. However, he will likely lose or miss out on any rights to custody or visitation that may have been presumed to be in place.
If a paternity test shows that a man is the father of a child, his rights as a father can be protected. This means he will likely be able to seek legal and/or physical custody of a child. However, he may also be ordered to pay child support.
Men who do not take paternity tests leave themselves open to some very serious issues. For example, according to Minnesota paternity laws, a man who is married to the mother of a child when the child is born is presumed to be the father, even if the baby may have been conceived with another man. If the two get divorced, the man could be left supporting a child to whom he is not biologically related.
For all these reasons, it can be crucial for men in Minnesota to understand their options when it comes to establishing paternity. Whether a paternity test is requested by a man, mother or court, it can be important for anyone with questions about paternity and parental rights in Minnesota to speak with an attorney.