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.
Last fall, we started discussing the legally complex and often emotionally charged issue of paternity in an attempt to help set the record straight on a family law topic that has unfortunately become a plot device for some overly imaginative television shows.
Even though it will almost certainly result in some major lifestyle changes and often require an exceptional amount of patience, there is perhaps no more joyous occasion in a person's life than the birth of a child.
The unfortunate reality is that the subject of paternity has become something of a running punchline over the last few years thanks to popular over-the-top talk shows. The reality, however, is that paternity is an extremely important topic with both legal ramifications and emotional considerations for all involved parties.
When it comes to the issue of paternity, most people have a general understanding that it involves establishing the identity of a father for the purposes of collecting child support. While this is technically accurate, it's important to understand that there is actually much more to the process.
From helping mothers secure much-needed child support to helping fathers gain their desired visitation rights, there is simply no disputing just how important paternity tests can prove to be in family law matters.
The Department of Human Services of Minnesota (DHS) has set up the Recognition of Parentage program. As over 30 percent of children are born out of wedlock in Minnesota every year, it is thought to be essential to establish the parentage of the child at the earliest possible convenience. The aim of the program is so that the single mother and child can receive child support payments from the father, but it also serves the purposes of the father in that he can be granted legal rights as pertains to the child as well.