Establishing paternity holds a lot of importance for parents, as well as for kids in Arkansas and elsewhere throughout the United States. If a child's biological father is not known, the mother will not be able to give the father's name to her children and will not be able to ask for financial support. Paternity issues mainly occur when the father is not married to his child's mother.
Most Arkansas citizens would probably agree that a child's biological father is likely to be more concerned about the best interests of a child than a nonbiological father would be. In one of our previous posts, we discussed voluntary acknowledgement of paternity of a child by his or her father, even though he is not legally recognized as the mother's spouse. The agreement is entered into by both the mother and the father.
When addressing legal matters, commonly accepted definitions of social terms may not suffice and adhering to specified legal procedures may be necessary. While most Pulaski, Arkansas, residents and those living elsewhere in the United States may find no apparent distinction between a biological parent and a legal parent, these two adjectives defining parenthood can be different and it is often very important to be recognized by law as a parent.
The identification of a family as a unit comprising a wage-earning father, a caregiving mother and one or more children is an historical concept which, in recent times, has become outdated. Today, the father is equally likely to be the stay-at-home parent taking care of the children or not married to the mother of the child. Also, the dissolution of the traditional family unit now provides a definite case for distinguishing between the biological father and the father who provides emotional and financial support.
In the past many family law cases were settled in favor of the mother, even when the father was mentally, physically, emotionally and financially capable to care for his child. However, like other societal changes in America, fathers' rights have evolved over time and nowadays, many courts treat parents equally in family law matters that involve a child.
In recent history, mothers were typically assumed to be the primary caregivers of children. However, a recent fathers' rights movement has gained momentum over the past few years in the United States, including in Arkansas. The Department of Child Support Enforcement in Arkansas looks into paternity issues in the state. While most states now do recognize the father's rights to custody in a divorce, a child born out of wedlock may still be denied interactions with the father due to the lack of any specific law.
Those most affected by a divorce are often children. Child custody issues are exacerbated when the child was conceived out of wedlock. Father's rights campaigns are ever increasing in the United States, especially in light of the fact that common perception is that the courts are more sympathetic to the biological mothers in child custody issues. In Arkansas, the Office of Child Support Enforcement looks into the matter of paternity in such cases.
When family dynamics change radically and quickly, establishing who should be considered a legitimate father can be very complicated and contentious. And if it involves a well-known couple, it can become fodder for endless speculation and extensive media coverage. Little Rock, Arkansas family law attorneys will attest that paternity issues are approached in varied and different ways among states.
Many Little Rock, Arkansas, residents who have ended a relationship may eventually end up fighting over custody of any children from the relationship. Many men may undergo a paternity test to prove a biological connection to a child in order to gain custody of that child.
Arkansas courts can require a paternity test to determine the true identity of a child's father. The procedure is often ordered in cases where child support is at stake and a putative father denies parenting the child. In cases involving child support, legally establishing parentage compels fathers to take responsibility for their actions.