In situations where the parents of a child are not married, the court must determine the parent-child relationship. These determinations dictate visitation, child support and the duties of each respective parent. Suits Affecting Parent-Child Relationship are also used to determine paternity.

SAPCR suits are necessary because of the role the court plays in establishing parental rights. Proper documents and a legally-established relationship between the parents is necessary for each parent to defend his/her parental rights. A father may be denied access to his child, if for example, proper documents were not filed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth. An experienced attorney can help in establishing the legally-binding documents to guarantee access to a child. 

An experienced family law attorney can also help in the determination of paternity. If a father is listed on the birth certificate, signs an acknowledgement of paternity or takes a DNA test, paternity is considered established. These steps are required by the court before a formal adjudication of the father can occur, and a parent-child relationship be legally determined.

SAPCR suits are also needed to determine child support requirements. Most courts require support unless the parents of the child are living together. The purpose of child support is to provide for the child and his or her best interests, therefore it is typical that the court will not waive child support requirements where they are deemed appropriate.

Contact our firm today if you need help with establishing your parental rights, determination of paternity and/or determination of child support requirement