Archive for February, 2017

Do I have to do court ordered community service?

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Sometimes I have people come into the office and they tell me that they can’t do community service because they have a health problem.  Perhaps they hurt their back or something else and they feel that they should be given a chance by the court to just bypass the community service requirement because of their special situation.

The court doesn’t really give people a pass just because they don’t want to do something, or it’s hard for them to do it.

What can you do?

If you have been ordered to do community service, you will need to  do something to help the community.  You have probably been assigned a representative from the court services unit or the probation office and they can help you with ideas of where you might be able to do your community service.

Picking up trash on the side of the road is only one thing that is available.  You might help at a food bank either getting food ready to put on their shelves, or put food in bags for clients.  You might also help out at a church or community center in a lot of different ways including getting the weekly bulletin or monthly newsletter ready to be delivered.  During the winter months, you can also help at homeless shelters or church communities that provide temporary housing and food for the homeless.  Many thrift stores use volunteer help to put price tags on items or other tasks around the shop.

The most important thing is that you need to find something to do that will fulfill your community service requirements.  If not, you might just find yourself in jail.

Can I give up my parental rights?

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

I often have young men come into my office to ask if they can give up their parental rights to a child because their ex is pregnant.  Often the expectant mother has told the young man that he can give up his parental rights if he will just leave her and the child alone (and she promises not to ask for child support at any time in the future).

First of all, there really aren’t any parental rights until the child is born.

Also, you can NOT sign over your parental rights unless there is someone else ready, willing and able to take over (an example would be an adoption).

If the mother says you are the father, but you are not married, then you have the right to sign or not sign the birth certificate.  If you sign the birth certificate, you are stating that you will accept being the legal father of this child with all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being a father.  If you do not sign the birth certificate, then you are not the legal father until and unless other actions take place.

The mother can take you to court for child support, at which time you can request a DNA test to make sure you are the father.  If the court determines that you are the father via the DNA test results, they can then order you to pay child support.  If the court determines that you are not the father via DNA test results, then the court can not order you to pay child support based on the DNA results.

You can also go to court and accept responsibility for the child by stating under oath that you are the father without going the DNA route, but take note that you cannot take a DNA test later and overrule this statement so you had better be sure this is what you want to do.

If you have questions about this, or any legal topic, please contact the office of Beavers Law, P.C. at 757-234-4650 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.  You can also visit us on the web at www.BeaversLaw.com.