Lawyers Helping with Massachusetts Paternity and Grandparents’ Rights Cases
At Anchor Law Firm, our family lawyers and staff help clients in matters related to paternity and grandparents’ rights. We know that children benefit enormously when loving adults become a regular part of a child’s life. This can include grandparents who take care of their grandchildren regularly, fathers who wish to be involved in their children’s lives, or even other relatives who have regular contact with your children. That is why our family law firm handles cases involving fathers and grandparents who seek to remain in a child’s life after a divorce or legal separation.
Seekonk Law Firm Helping With Paternity Issues
Consider this scenario: You want to have regular contact with your child, but the mother is denying you. Another situation: You are a mother seeking to prevent the father from seeing a child. Both types of paternity cases can be tricky, but our legal team knows the law of paternity thoroughly and can advise you about your rights and options in these matters.
Why should one bother getting a paternity test? Establishing legal paternity through a DNA test can protect a father’s rights to see a child and be part of that child’s life. It is important to establish legal paternity even when the mother allows or even encourages visitation, because she could change her mind, leaving the father with no legal protection.
Our child custody attorneys handle both simple and complex paternity matters, including cases involving same-sex couples, donor fathers, changes of paternity cases, and cases involving men who became fathers as a result of one-night-stands. We also represent mothers who wish to prevent a father’s access to a child because of allegations of violence, drug abuse or other negative factors.
Determining Paternity Without a DNA Test
Fathers seeking access to a child without a DNA test must demonstrate one of the following to be successful when a mother is resisting granting access:
- The couple was married at the time of the child’s birth, or the child was born within 300 days after the end of the marriage
- The potential father attempted to marry the mother either before or after the child was born
- The man behaved in a way that others saw as acknowledging paternity, such as having the child visit his home or behaving and speaking as if the child was theirs
- The proof that the other person is the parent is "clear and convincing evidence"
- The other person has acknowledged parentage in a parental responsibility claim with no objections from the mother in a “reasonable time”
- The other person agreed to support the child in writing
These criteria can apply to both men and women seeking to be involved in their child’s life. Our legal team stands ready to advise clients about their rights and options when it comes to paternity matters.
Grandparent Visitation in SE Massachusetts
As in most U.S. states, grandparents have limited legal rights in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Nevertheless, because grandparents can be particularly important to a child’s comfort and development, judges sometimes allow access to grandparents and other extended family members in certain circumstances, even when one parent opposes such access.
The best way to obtain access to a grandchild is to demonstrate that you had a close, ongoing relationship with the child before the parents separated or divorced. Establishing this relationship could involve showing that the child lived with you for a time, or the child visited you every weekend, or that the child took frequent vacations or trips with you. Under such circumstances, a judge may grant you legal access.
These are tricky cases, but our legal team is both creative and knowledgeable, making our firm an excellent choice for trying to establish grandparent (or other relative) visitation. We are ready to go to court and fight on your behalf for access to your grandchildren.
To schedule a free initial consultation about paternity or grandparent rights, call us at 508-557-1138 or contact us online.