Virginia is like other states in that it does not recognize the rights of a father until paternity has been established. This means that a dad will have no right to custody or visitation if paternity is in dispute. Under such circumstances, if the mother wishes to withhold information about the child’s schooling or healthcare, she may do so. It is also means that a dad will have no right to pick up his child at a certain time, even if the parties have traditionally employed such an arrangement. This lack of rights, however, cuts both ways. A dad will not be under any obligation to pay child support, to pay a portion of the child’s medical expenses, or to provide healthcare when there is no order in place.
It is important to understand that a father’s obligations can still accrue when there’s yet to be a finding of paternity. If, for example, that the parents go to court to establish paternity and visitation for a child, and also a petitioner for child support has been filed, if the father is then determined to be the biological father, his child support obligation will be as of the filing of the petition for child support.
If you are a father and you require assistance with a paternity case then contact our office today.