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What to Know About a Paternity Dispute

Gene Kirzhner March 19, 2018

A paternity dispute can be the hardest part of a divorce. Even after divorce or without a marriage, these proceedings can be the toughest in family court. The court wants to make sure that they are doing what is best for the child, so the feelings of the parents don’t usually matter as much. They want to make sure that whatever choice they make will be the best for the child and that can mean knowing more than you want them to.

Everything Matters

In cases like these, everything that is brought to the court matters. Whether it is social media, history of any drug use or what your marriage was like; it all makes a difference. This is because the court is deciding to place a child in your care. They want to make sure that they have as much information about you as possible, to make sure that they are making an educated decision. This means that something as simple as you being upset in court can turn a judge off and make them wonder about you. If you are visibly angry during a court proceeding when it is critical to be calm, what must you be like with your child? And because they know that children notice everything, they want to make sure that little things like that are in consideration.

The Father

The father doesn’t necessarily have to be the genetic creator. They don’t even necessarily have to be genetically related to the child. There are many ways to determine someone as the father of a child, even if they are not a relative. You can read more about that here. And contrary to popular belief, there is no one parent that is automatically granted favor in the courts. That means that they won’t necessarily chose to side with the mother or the father right off the bat. That is an urban myth that tends to circulate to justify the outcome of a case. In all actuality, they chose whichever parent shows to be the biggest asset to the child. Whether this is financially or emotionally, there is always a reason that the court chooses the side it does.


Though it doesn’t happen very often, you can settle a paternity dispute out of court. If you have a good attorney and the negotiations go well before the court date, you can have a legal document drafted and avoid the time with a judge. While this is something that happens, it happens less when divorce is involved, and even outside of that it happens rarely. There are cases where a legal document isn’t required, but these tend to end up needing one in the long run. This isn’t because of the fault of any party, only that a paternity dispute is best clearly given a resolution. And a legal document is a good way to do that. Not only does it clear things up, but it also gives a reference point. There is always an answer when you have a legal document that explains everything.

Your Attorney

Regardless of whether you go to court or not, an attorney is necessary. They will be your biggest asset in negotiating to avoid court and your loudest voice if you need to go. This means that having a good attorney will not only save you time but save you money. You want to make sure that you find someone with experience and knowledge of the law regarding a paternity dispute. Your lawyer will need to put together an excellent case for you, regardless of the route you take. If you try to settle out of court, they will need a good reason to try to avoid a judge. And a strong structure in your case can give you that. And if you do go to court, you want to make sure that your case will stand firm.

A paternity dispute can seem like the end of the world when you are going through it. However, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Having a strong attorney working for you will be a comfort. And being able to trust them will go a long way, as well. This will help you relax more through the process, but also save you money. The longer you have your attorney, the more you will have to pay. And having someone who has experience in these cases can make a big difference when trying to settle out of court. Even if you do have to go to court, having an attorney that will put up a great fight for you can make the process a bit faster. Not only will you spend less money, but you will have an amazing stronghold in your case. And that is a win-win. You can start your search here.