top of page
Paternity Lawyer in Arkansas
SHeild 1 color-25 Percent.png


Paternity Cases

If you are the biological father of a child, you have certain rights as well as certain responsibilities.  Conversely, if you are not the biological father of the child, you do not have those rights or those responsibilities.  Paternity will affect things like custody and child support, so it’s important to establish proof of paternity (or not) when dealing with complicated cases dealing with children.  The information below provides some definitions  and explanations of common paternity topics and some of the legal considerations of the state of Arkansas.  To discuss your paternity case in depth, schedule a FREE consultation with Stuart Cearley today.

Paternity Lawyer in Bentonville

Paternity is defined as the state or condition of a father.  In the United States, a child born out of wedlock will lose child support and inheritance rights unless the child is legally established; the father can voluntarily enforce paternity in a legal document filed through a court or may choose to have his name listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate.  If the man disputes fatherhood, the mother or state government may initiate a paternity action to adjudicate fatherhood.  


In Arkansas, if a child is born to married parents, the father’s name will automatically appear on the birth certificate, establishing a legal relationship between the child and the husband of the mother.  If the child is born to unmarried parents, the biological father’s name will not be placed on the birth certificate without filing an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP), establishing the biological father as the legal father.  


An Acknowledgment of Paternity is a form prescribed by the Department of Public Health, the purpose of this form is to establish the legal paternity of a child born out of wedlock, the form will include the affirmation of paternity, the waiver, and the notice of rights and responsibilities.


In the case of a child born out of wedlock, the mother will obtain legal custody until paternity is determined, but once paternity has been determined, the Arkansas court will be able to order child support, custody rights, and visitation.  In order for the dad to receive custody after proof of paternity has been acquired, he will be required to prove that he is a fit parent, that he is already providing financial support for the child, and that it is in the best interest of the child.  

In Arkansas, if the child’s conception results in the assumed father being found guilty of the rape of the mother, the father’s parental rights are terminated upon the conviction.  Despite the parental rights being terminated, the convicted father will still be obligated to pay child support and the child will hold the right to inherit the father’s estate. 

Schedule your FREE Legal Consultation today

Paternity Lawyer Attorney Bentonville Ar Stuart Cearley Law.jpg
bottom of page