The purpose of a paternity action is to prove who is the father of a child. If paternity is established, the legal decision-making, parenting time and child support issues are addressed.
A paternity action may be filed either during a pregnancy or after the delivery of the child.
The alleged father may either admit to paternity or ask that genetic testing be done to determine parentage. If the results of the genetic tests indicate that the likelihood of the alleged father’s paternity is 95% or greater, the alleged father is presumed to be the parent of the child.
There is also a presumption of paternity if the alleged father and mother were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth or the child is born within ten months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, dissolution or legal separation.
If the mother and father both sign the birth certificate of a child born out of wedlock, there is a presumption of paternity.
If both parents sign a notarized or witnessed statement acknowledging paternity, there is a presumption of paternity.
Once paternity is established, the procedures and considerations involved with legal decision-making, parenting time and child support come into play.
If a mother wants child support from the father, she should initiate a paternity/child support action. The mother should recognize that the father may request legal decision-making and/or parenting time.
If a father wants legal decision-making and/or parenting time, he should initiate a paternity/legal decision-making/parenting time action. The father should recognize that the mother may request child support.
I have represented clients in cases of paternity establishment and father's rights as well as mother's rights to child support. You can expect compassion as you navigate a stressful and uncertain time in your life. Take the first step now by contacting my office for an initial consultation to get started on a strategy for your case.