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When Do You Need a Paternity Lawyer?

A paternity case is a judicial proceeding to identify a child’s father. To be granted legal custody, maintenance, and visitation rights for unmarried parents’ children, paternity must be proven.

If the child’s father refuses to voluntarily establish paternity or the mother refuses to acknowledge the father, a paternity lawyer may be required.

An experienced paternity attorney can help you through the procedures required to establish or contest custody, parenting time, or child support if paternity is in doubt.

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Paternity Lawyer in the U.S.?

Budgeting is critical, but it’s just as crucial to understand the repercussions of not having legal representation. After an initial $3,500 to $5,000 retainer fee, most paternity attorneys in the U.S. charge between $300 and $500 per hour for their services.

What to Look For in a Paternity Lawyer

Consider these factors while picking the best paternity lawyer for your case:

Your paternity attorney should be open and honest with you about your case.

When you first call a paternity lawyer, you can tell how diligent they are. Did the attorney answer the phone, or did you speak with a secretary? Did the attorney take the time to discuss the concerns with you over the phone before letting you know how much they would charge? Did an in-person consultation take place? Did the attorney review the issues, the law, and the relevant facts?

The Attorney’s Capacity for Dialogue
You should have access to your paternity lawyer. They should answer the phone when you call. You shouldn’t speak to the lawyer’s paralegal or secretary more than you speak to the lawyer.

The lawyer should be consulted for legal advice. You should email your attorney. You should regularly communicate with your attorney about the progress of your case.

Objectivity entails more than just pointing out your case’s advantages and disadvantages. It also involves ensuring that the family court’s reasonable options are included in your case study.

The most competent attorneys won’t approach your paternity case and its problems in a vacuum. Instead, they will comprehend that the court has “discretion” in some matters and that family law issues are rarely clean and dry.

The Ability to Prepare Documents for Paternity Cases
Your attorney or law office must have completed all of your papers by the time you enter the court. In a paternity case, document preparation is crucial, so pay attention to it.

Suppose you choose a lawyer who delegated all the work to a secretary or paralegal without even reading it carefully to ensure that it was correct, comprehensive, and effectively argued your case. In that case, you should find another attorney.

How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Paternity Lawyer

Before a consultation, it’s crucial to compile the necessary data and supporting paperwork. It is also crucial to note any inquiries one could have for their lawyer about their case.

Any pertinent papers should be brought to the consultation by the patient. A birth certificate for the child, records pertaining to the child, and, in some situations, communications between the biological mother and the claimed father may be included. Communications between the parties may contain evidence of paternity, such as if the biological mother makes mention of another potential father.

It is also crucial to note any inquiries a person may have regarding their situation. This can include what would happen if paternity was disputed, the results of genetic testing, and the legal ramifications of accepting paternity.

Where to Find the Best Paternity Lawyers in the U.S.

You can find the best paternity lawyers in the U.S. on LegalMatch. You can also search the American Bar Association’s website for paternity lawyers.

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