When are the North Carolina paternity laws applicable to you in matters of child custody and support?
In North Carolina, the best interest of the child is the number one priority of the Court in deciding matters of child custody and support. This does not change if the case under consideration involves a child or children born out of wedlock.
As per the law, an unmarried father or mother is obliged to pay child support to the parent who has primary custody of the child. Similarly, just because the father is not married to the child’s mother and does not live with her, it does not take away his right to be involved in his child’s life.
Paternity Law for Child Custody
An unmarried father can apply for custody and /or visitation rights to his child. When paternity is under dispute between parents, a DNA test can establish paternity with the court. Once paternity has been established, courts award the custody and /or visitation rights using the same parameters as those used for married parents.
Paternity Law for Child Support
A mother, can apply for child support from the father of the child, irrespective of the fact that she is not (and was never) married to him. Again in the event of dispute, a DNA test to establish paternity is undertaken. The court may order ‘back payment’ of child support in case paternity has just recently been proven.
DNA test results that disestablish paternity remove the need for the individual to pay child support.
We at McIlveen Family Law Firm have vast experience in paternity law suits. We will work with you to ensure your parental rights to custody and visitation are protected. We can also make sure that you child gets child support from his father, so that there is no impact on his quality of life due to lack of financial resources.