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Paternity Actions in Columbia

Legal Assistance for Paternity in South Carolina

Whether you are an unwed mother in need of child support payments or a father who wants to petition for rights of child custody and visitation, you can come to Masella Law Firm, P.A. for help from a team with extensive legal experience and a background in prosecution. We understand how important your children are to you, and are prepared to work diligently to help you achieve a favorable outcome in the case.

Claiming Child Support from the Biological Father

Under state law, both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children, but unfortunately the mother is frequently left carrying an unfair share of the burden. In most cases where a child is born to an unwed mother, there is no legal presumption as to the identity of the father, unless the man has specifically taken action to affirm the paternal relationship. Fortunately, we may be able to help you file a paternity action against the man whom you believe to be the father, using DNA testing to irrefutably prove the fact and making it possible for you to sue for the child support payments you need.

Understanding Paternity Actions in Columbia, SC

At Masella Law Firm, P.A., we recognize families' unique challenges in Columbia, South Carolina. Whether navigating the bustling streets of Five Points or residing in the serene neighborhoods of Shandon, our team is here to support you through paternity actions. We understand that establishing paternity is not just a legal matter but a deeply personal one that impacts your relationship with your child.

Columbia residents have access to various local resources to assist in paternity actions. The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) offers programs to help with child support enforcement once paternity is established. Additionally, the Richland County Family Court is a key local entity where paternity cases are often filed and heard. While we do not partner directly with these entities, we are well-versed in navigating their processes to help you achieve your goals.

One of the most common issues faced by unwed parents in Columbia is the financial strain of raising a child without adequate support. The cost of living in areas like Forest Acres and Rosewood can be high, making it essential to secure the financial contributions of both parents. For fathers, the emotional toll of being unable to see their children can be overwhelming. Establishing paternity is the first step in gaining legal rights to child custody and visitation, ensuring that you can be a part of your child's life.

Our deep understanding of Columbia's local landscape allows us to provide tailored legal assistance that addresses your needs. We are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of paternity actions, from DNA testing to court proceedings. Whether you're seeking child support or fighting for visitation rights, Masella Law Firm, P.A. is here to guide you every step.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your paternity action in Columbia, SC. Let us help you secure the future you and your child deserve.

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It is also possible for men to file paternity actions, and this is usually done with the purpose of securing rights of child custody and visitation. If you have not been legally recognized as the father, your ability to have a relationship with your child is entirely at the discretion of the mother, who has sole custody and control of the child. By establishing that you are the biological father, you will now be able to petition for visitation privileges, but must be prepared to supply evidence that this would be in the best interests of the children. We will assist you with every phase of the process, and are prepared to fight for your right to play a role in your child's life.

Contact us now to speak with a Columbia divorce attorney from our team, to learn about your options in the situation, and to begin working on a strategy for your family law case. 

Commonly Asked Questions

What steps are involved in claiming child support in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, to claim child support from a biological father, an unwed mother may need to file a paternity action. This often involves DNA testing to confirm paternity. Once paternity is established, the mother can legally pursue child support payments. Masella Law Firm, P.A. can assist in this process, ensuring that the necessary legal actions are taken to secure the financial support required for the child's upbringing.

Can a father in Columbia file for paternity to gain child custody rights?

Yes, in Columbia, a father can file a paternity action to establish his biological relationship with his child, which is the first step in gaining legal rights such as child custody and visitation. Without legal paternity, a father's relationship with his child is subject to the mother's discretion. Masella Law Firm, P.A. can help fathers through this process, advocating for their rights and supporting them in presenting evidence that custody or visitation is in the child's best interests.

Why is establishing paternity important for child custody and visitation in South Carolina?

Establishing paternity is crucial in South Carolina because it legally defines the father's relationship with the child, which is necessary for pursuing custody and visitation rights. Without legal recognition as the father, a man has no guaranteed rights to be involved in his child's life. Establishing paternity allows a father to petition for these rights and demonstrates a commitment to the child's welfare, which is a key consideration in family law proceedings.

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With over two decades of experience working with family law, personal injury and criminal defense cases throughout South Carolina, we at Masella Law Firm, P.A. are prepared to guide you through the legal process. Click below to be taken to our secure payment page.