In the United States, almost half of all children are born out of wedlock. The proportion is much higher in certain ethnic groups. For many families, such births are the best possible lifestyle choice for everyone concerned.
Like all the decisions we make, these choices have some costs. In this case, these costs are both financial and emotional. As mentioned, these costs are usually worth paying.
However, a law firm in Buffalo, MN can easily minimize these costs. Generally, the legal process is rather straightforward. And, the benefits of a paternity order are difficult to ignore.
Protection for You and Your Child
Some mothers have very poor relationships with biological fathers. Many mothers are afraid to disclose their addresses in court documents. Generally, a law firm in Buffalo, MN can redact this information, so it’s unavailable to anyone other than the judge and court personnel.
Additionally, most paternity actions include protective orders. These orders generally last at least until the case is over, and many times, they become permanent injunctions in the final paternity decree. These orders prohibit biological fathers from going certain places and doing certain things. The orders might also limit firearm ownership and contain other such provisions.
Protective orders are more than pieces of paper. Violating a protective order, even in a nonviolent manner, is a serious offense. Additionally, these orders allow mothers to give daycares and other groups notice about the situation.
In terms of child support, Minnesota is an income share state. Child support payments are designed to give children the lifestyle they would have if their parents were married. So, in many cases, the child support obligation is substantial.
Buffalo, MN law firms can include other financial support provisions as well. Typically, biological fathers must include their children on their group health insurance plans. Moreover, a Wright County judge might order the biological father to pay for part of the hospital bill, reimburse the mother for certain costs, and pay other expenses.
A Buffalo, MN Law Firm and a Written Visitation Plan
Some mothers have relatively good relationships with biological fathers. They have an informal and unwritten parenting timeshare plan which works pretty well. But even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. It’s much better to have things in writing. If these writings are enforceable in court, that’s better still. The parties can still generally agree on any parenting time division. But the written orders give everyone something to fall back on.
Many parenting plans also include limitations where appropriate. For example, a father might lack the parenting skills to take care of a baby for more than a few hours. Or, the father might have a substance abuse problem or a bad temper. A Buffalo, MN law firm can insert requirements like parenting classes and alcohol treatment into a paternity order. Generally, contact with the child is tied to the successful completion of these conditions.
These provisions often help biological fathers grow up and become responsible parents. This change has some other benefits as well, as outlined below.
Access to Medical Records
When children get sick, doctors often rely on family medical history to make accurate diagnoses. If the doctor only has access to the mother’s family medical history, the doctor only has half the pieces to a puzzle, at best.
A legal paternity order gives physicians full access to all family medical history. That additional access could make a big difference in your child’s health.
In many ways, paternity orders are like adoption decrees or name change orders. These legal documents have emotional power. Children have identifiable fathers, and fathers are more like dads. As mentioned, that same father-to-dad transformation positively affects many fathers.
Moreover, at some point in the future, many children become curious about their parents’ ancestry and family history. A paternity order now makes these future conversations much easier to have.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Attorney
Paternity orders have financial and emotional benefits for mothers and children. For a free consultation at a Buffalo, MN law firm, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Wright County and nearby jurisdictions.