Like many in Lynchburg, you may one day dream of having a family of your own, yet you may not deem your current circumstances as being ideal to fulfill such a desire. We here at Mark B Arthur PC have worked with several male clients in the past who have shared your point of view, yet found themselves in the position of having potentially fathered a child. Being a parent brings with it certain responsibilities, such as providing financial support for a child. Yet those obligations may only come after parentage has been established.

According to the Code of Virginia, paternity can be established a number of different ways. The first is through genetic testing, for which a greater than 98 percent probability of paternity must be present in order for you to automatically be considered a child’s father. Paternity may also be established by you consenting in writing, along with the child’s mother, that you are his or her father. For such an agreement to be valid, however, it must first be established that you were informed of the consequences of acknowledging paternity and whatever rights you may be granted be doing so. Such an agreement can be rescinded within 60 days of your having signed it.

Even without a confirmatory genetic test result or a signed agreement, the court can still name you as a child’s father based upon certain actions. These include:

  •          You having been proven to be involved in a sexual relationship with the child’s mother at the time of his or her conception.  
  •          You allowing the child to use your surname.
  •          You acknowledging the child as your own on a tax return, or any other federal or state legal document.

You can learn more about establishing parental rights by continuing to explore our site.