|Attorney serving Bentonville,
Bella Vista, Rogers, Springdale,
Fayetteville, Eureka Springs,
Berryville, & surrounding areas
in Northwest Arkansas.
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When a child is born outside of marriage, it has one parent, not two. The father is not
considered the father unless the child is born during marriage, the father signs an
acknowledgment of paternity at the hospital, or a Court determines that the father is in
fact the father.
Paternity actions arise in one of two ways - either a mother wants child support from
the father and must file a paternity action to get it done, or a father wants visitation or
custody rights to the minor child and must file a paternity action to establish himself as
the father. When a party files a paternity action, the other party can either admit it or
deny it. If it is admitted, then it is presumed that the father is in fact the biological father
of the child. If it is denied, the Court will order a DNA test to determine who the father
Once paternity has been established, the Court can make its standard custody, visitation,
and child support orders. However, custody can only be awarded to the father if the
(a) He is a fit parent;
(b) He has assumed his responsibilities toward the child by providing care,
supervision, protection, and financial support for the child; and
(c) That it is in the best interests of the child to be in the custody of the father.
Fathers can also be ordered to pay child support from when the child was born to the
present. This could create an enormous financial burden, especially if a father wants to
get involved after several years of the child being alive. Fathers can also be ordered to
pay expenses such as the costs associated with the pregnancy, doctor bills for the
mother and child, school supplies from years back, and other expenses that fathers
would normally pay if they were around. The longer a father waits to establish that he is
the father, the bigger the financial judgment he could be facing.
|The Bryant Firm, P.A. | 9 Halsted Circle | Rogers, AR 72756
Ph: (479)633-8994 | Fax: (479)633-8997
All rights reserved. (c) The Bryant Firm, 2011.
|Joshua S. Bryant
Attorney at Law
THE BRYANT FIRM, P.A.
9 Halsted Circle
Rogers, AR 72756