A paternity action is instigated when the parents of a child are not married. Paternity is the legal and social acknowledgment of the paternal relationship between a father and his child. When paternity is at issue, any party in interest (mother, father, child or state) can ask the court for a determination of paternity. If a father consents to being the child’s parent he can sign an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity, which establishes the legal relationship between the father and child. If a man denies that he is the father or is not sure, a DNA or genetic test can be court ordered to determine if he is the father. Once paternity is established, child support is ordered pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines. Further, once paternity is established, custody issues and visitation/timesharing with the child as determined in the child’s best interest are ordered by the court.
If you would like more information regarding paternity issues, please contact the office to schedule an appointment.