Paternity Suits

“Compassionate and Experienced Paternity Abogados”

Memphis Paternity Suits Lawyer

A child is generally recognized to need the presence and influence of its parents in order to properly grow, develop, and mature. A father who is absent can cause serious emotional harm to a child – potentially resulting in the need for future therapy.  A father who is unable to see his or her child for one reason or another can suffer similar harm.  But how does a father who is not listed on the child’s birth certificate obtain the rights – and be held accountable for the responsibilities – that are his as the child’s biological father?

A paternity suit is the legal mechanism whereby a man is declared to be the legal father of a child. The legal father may or may not be a different person than the child’s biological father. Although a declaration that a man is the child’s legal father gives that man certain rights to the child, it also creates important responsibilities for him. It is important that he have representation from a Tennessee paternity suit lawyer throughout the proceedings.

What is a Paternity Suit?

When a child does not have a named legal father, a paternity suit can be filed in order to declare one particular man to be the child’s legal father. Such a declaration will give the man certain rights to the child, including:

      • The right to participate in the care and upbringing of the child;
      • The right to reasonable visitation with the child; and
      • The right to develop a meaningful relationship with the child.

A declaration that a particular man is the legal father of a child also creates certain responsibilities for that person, including that that person provide physical and material support and care to the child.

A paternity suit can be filed any time there is a question concerning the paternity of a minor child. The child’s mother, the person who believes he may be the father of the child, a guardian acting on behalf of the child him- or herself, or the Tennessee Department of Human Services (if the child receives public assistance) can all file a petition to determine paternity.

When is Paternity Presumed?

A man will be presumed (that is, assumed) to be the legal father of a child in certain circumstances. A man presumed to be the legal father of a child bears the burden of producing sufficient evidence showing that the presumption should not be recognized. The circumstances under which a man is presumed to be the father of a child include:

  • The man was married to the child’s mother and the child was born either during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage ended;
  • The man attempted to marry the child’s mother before the child’s birth;
  • The man and the child’s mother attempted to marry after the child’s birth and the man either acknowledged paternity in writing under the putative father registry, consented in writing to be on the child’s birth certificate, or is obligated to support the child by agreement or court order;
  • The man accepts the child into his home and holds the child out to be his own natural child; and/or
  • A genetic test conducted in compliance with the law establishes a probability of parentage of at least 95%.

Douglass & Runger, Licenciados en Leyes – Your Tennessee Paternity Suits Lawyer


Whether you are seeking to establish parentage or are challenging a presumption of parentage, the assistance of the Memphis paternity lawyers of Douglass & Runger, Licenciados en Leyes, can be invaluable in helping you achieve a favorable result. Contact their legal team today by calling (901) 388-5805.