Paternity Lawyer

Summerville · Moncks Corner · Goose Creek · Charleston

Need a Paternity Lawyer in the Summerville, Moncks Corner, Goose Creek, Charleston, South Carolina area?

The paternity lawyers at Seaton & Duncan can help you to establish your paternity rights in the family court.

What does paternity mean in South Carolina?

It means “legal fatherhood,” and it is a necessary process in many family law cases. You may need a paternity lawyer to help you establish (or disprove) paternity when:

  • An unmarried biological father wants to establish his legal rights as the child’s father, including custody and visitation rights;
  • The child(ren)’s mother wants to establish an unmarried biological father’s paternity so the father can be held responsible for his child support obligations;
  • A child seeks to establish their right to inherit from a father; or
  • It is necessary to get consent for a child’s adoption.

If you are considering adopting a child in South Carolina, your adoption attorney at Seaton & Duncan can help you to navigate the process and will be there with you every step of the way.

Adoption proceedings are one area where we know that we are able to make a difference in a child’s life. Seeing the happy smiles on the faces of our clients at the conclusion of their adoption, and knowing that it was done right makes our job worthwhile.

our paternity lawyers care about their clients and take parental rights seriously.


When you call our office, we will:

  • Meet with you to discuss your case and answer your questions,
  • Help you to determine your goals and how to achieve them,
  • Assist you in obtaining any necessary DNA tests to establish or disprove paternity,
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork and file the appropriate court actions, including divorce actions, custody actions, paternity actions, and actions to seek child support,
  • Seek a court-appointed guardian ad-litem for the child when appropriate,
  • Resolve issues out of court whenever possible, and
  • Litigate your case to achieve your goals, up to and including a bench trial with a family court judge and any necessary appeals.

We have years of experience litigating family law cases.


The Paternity lawyers at Seaton & Duncan:

  • Have over experience litigating family law issues in South Carolina including paternity actions,
  • Knows how to help you to achieve your goals, whether that is collecting child support from the child’s father or disproving paternity so you are not obligated to pay child support,
  • Cares about your case and your family, and
  • Answers the phone, answers your questions, and communicates with you regularly about the progress of your case.

When you choose the paternity lawyers at Seaton & Duncan to handle your case, you will receive personal attention directly from your paternity lawyer.

We make communication with our clients a priority, will answer your questions, and will keep you up to date on what is happening in your case throughout the process.

Worry Free

They are very good at what they do! Go see them today and be worry free!

– Kipp Cavadias

Great Lawyer

Great Lawyer, will definitely use again when needed. Thank You Beau!

– Charles McGee

Wonderful Lawyer

He truly cares about his clients!! A wonderful lawyer!!

– Lamarr Richardson

* The Rules of Professional Conduct require disclosure that this is a “Testimonial” about the attorney. Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

How a Paternity Lawyer in South Carolina Can Help

Father Seeks Custody

If the child’s father is seeking legal custody of their child, it may be necessary to establish paternity as a part of the court action seeking custody.

A parent’s legal rights aren’t automatically established if the parents are not married when the child is born, but the court may still award child custody to the biological father 1) if they prove paternity and 2) it is in the child’s best interest for the father to have custody.

When the father is not awarded custody of the child, it may still be necessary to establish paternity so that the father can claim their right to visitation with their child.

Mother Seeks Custody

If a child’s mother seeks custody and that is contested by an individual who claims to be the child’s father, the mother may force a paternity determination to prove that the alleged father does not have parental rights to the child.

Father Seeks Parental Rights

A child’s biological father may want to establish paternity so they can exercise their legal rights as the parent.

In addition to custody and visitation, a child’s father may want to have a say in the child’s upbringing and important decisions like the child’s:

  • Discipline,
  • Residence,
  • Education,
  • Religious upbringing, and
  • Medical care.

On the other hand, an individual who is not the child’s father may want the court to order that they do not have obligations like the payment of child support or medical expenses.

Mother Seeks Child Support

Every parent is obligated to provide support for their children.

As part of an action seeking child support from a child’s father, it may be necessary for the child’s mother to establish paternity through a DNA test.

Common Questions About

How long does a father have to establish paternity in SC?

60 days.

Is a paternity test required for child support in South Carolina?

The State of South Carolina requires a finding of 95% or higher to establish proof of paternity. Upon results of a genetic test of 95% or higher, Child Support Services Division will request an administrative child support hearing to establish paternity and, if the custodian requested, child support.

Does signing a birth certificate establish paternity in South Carolina?

The father’s name will appear on the birth certificate, and the father must consent to the name of the child before the child’s name appears on the birth certificate. If the father signs the birth certificate without signing a Paternity Acknowledgement Affidavit, paternity is not established.

Ready To Speak With An Attorney?

Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.