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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 29585
Experience:  Over 20 years of high volume criminal defense work,including all aspects of a case from arraignment to plea or trial.
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My son and his wife separated in July and she had a baby in

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My son and his wife separated in July and she had a baby in March of the next year. She put the father unknown and she used her maiden name. What can my son do .he can't afford alot
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 3 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I am a US lawyer.

Your son has to establish his paternity to get rights to the child. There are two ways that can be established. The first is voluntarily, if his ex agrees that the baby is his and signs a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. Once that form is filed, your son would become the legal father, his name would be added to the birth certificates, and he could establish his right to be involved in his child's life.

The second way is involuntarily, that is, if his ex does not agree he is the father or will not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment. Here, he would have to petiton the court, which could mandate DNA testing to establish actual paternity. If testing proves that your son is the father, then the court will issue an order of parentage, your son's name will be added to the birth certificate and issues of custody, visitation, and child support can also be determined at the same time.

If your son can afford a lawyer, he can contact the Tennesse Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. They charge a referral fee of around $50 to find him a Family lawyer, but that referral fee includes a half hour free consultation with the attorney. The Tennessee Courts have a referral line for low-income residents needing low cost legal assistance. You can read more about that program here.

If he needs pro bono assistance, that may be harder to come by if he needs actual representation, but he should be able to get plenty of hands on advice from pro bono agencies, which will help him proceed on his own if necessary. Here are some lnks to Tennessee's pro-bono resources. Though he may have to make a lot of phone calls, people in the pro bono loop may know of others who can assist him with his paternity matter.

Tennessee also has several law schools. A good resource available for free or low priced legal assistance is law school clinics where law students research, write and handle actual cases and issues under the supervision of a practicing professor/lawyer. Some of these law school clinics have wonderful reputations, and if a court appearance is called for, the professor goes to court.

Law students are trained legal researchers. They are energetic, idealistic and enjoy putting their efforts into a cause they can believe in. Here's a list of Tennessee Law school clinics. These clinics are either free to the public or have a sliding fee scale.

Good luck!