Paternity actions can either establish or disestablish the paternity of a child’s father, thus affecting his parental rights and responsibilities. Establishing paternity of an alleged father may allow mothers to collect child support and medical support and fathers to receive visitation rights.
Ways to establish legal paternity for a child:
- Genetic testing establishing that the father is not actually the biological father;
- An Affidavit of Paternity signed by both the mother and alleged father;
- Naming the alleged father on the child’s birth certificate;
- The child being born into a marriage; and
- The alleged father paying child support.
If paternity has been established by one of the methods mentioned above, a genetic test (“paternity test” or “DNA test”) may be ordered to disestablish paternity. Either party may petition the Court to disestablish the father’s paternity. Despite the results of the genetic test, the Court ultimately decides whether the father’s paternity will be disestablished.
Paternity is a complex issue affecting the rights and responsibilities of both mother and father. As such, we have provided answers to the most commonly asked questions from those filing paternity actions. Please click here to be taken to our Q & A page.