Paternity and Other Family Court Issues

Determining paternity can be more complicated than it seems. The State of Alabama has several ways to determine whether someone is a father. The attorneys of Five Points Law Group have the experience needed to help you resolve even the most challenging family law issues.

Determining Fatherhood in Alabama

The law makes certain presumptions about fatherhood. For instance, the law presumes that someone is the natural father of a child in certain circumstances:

  • He is married to the mother, and the child is born during that marriage
  • He was married to the mother, and a child was born during the marriage or within 300 days of divorce
  • He and the child’s mother tried to marry prior to the child’s birth (whether or not the marriage actually took place or was valid)
  • He has acknowledged paternity in writing, which is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics
  • He has consented to having his name listed on the child’s birth certificate
  • There is a court-ordered child support obligation or a voluntary promise by the man to pay support

While the child is still under 18, he accepts the child as his own, allows the child to live in his home, or openly holds the child out publicly to be his natural child, including providing emotional and financial means of support

These are just presumptions, however, so they can be disproved with appropriate evidence. Alabama law acknowledges a father as someone who has established a father-child relationship with the child. Absent such presumptions or acknowledgements, a man can be adjudicated to be the father of a child by a court.

In some situations, the man may allege he is the father, even when such has not yet been proven. Finally, a putative father is one who the law declares to be the father until such can be rebutted or firmly established.

Putative Father Registry

Alabama, like many other states, maintains a database in which putative fathers are recorded. The Department of Human Resources uses this registry to record the name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address of putative fathers. The registry is for the following situations, typically involving children born out of wedlock:

  • A man who an Alabama court decided to be the father of a child born out of wedlock
  • A man who the court of a different state decided to be the father of a child born out of wedlock
  • A man who wishes to claim paternity of a child born out of wedlock.
Other Family Court Issues

Paternity is just one of the many issues that can arise out of a relationship. Unmarried couples often live together for many years, acquiring personal and real property that needs to be divided in a breakup. Even without a divorce, these can be challenging legal situations. Likewise, Alabama family courts can handle the following types of disputes:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Visitation
  • Child support
  • Alimony
Experience Counts

If you are going through a difficult family court dispute involving paternity or any other family law issue, call the experienced attorneys of Five Points Law Group. When so much is at stake, experience counts. Call or visit us online to schedule a confidential appointment today.

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