Establishment of Legal Paternity

If you are a father and have never been married, please consult with an attorney immediately to file a paternity action. This is imperative to establish your legal rights to the child. If you do not file this petition, the Mother of the child/ children can move any place she wants and deny you time sharing without violating any law or statute. Your rights must be adjudicated legally in the paternity action to provide you with a legal right to time share with your children. Please understand this is a separate issue from paying child support and the Court examines the issues separately and under different legal statutes.

Legal paternity can only be established through a paternity agreement (time sharing schedule and parenting plans) signed by both parties, or by filing a Petition to Establish Paternity and Time Sharing. Some people assume that if the Father’s name is on the birth certificate that means he is the legal father. This establishes a presumption of who the biological father is but is a separate issue from establishing paternity.

If an individual believes he is not the father of a child, he may contest a child support order by defending a paternity action. In this action, the mother, potential father, and child may need to submit to a DNA test for genetic testing to determine the father’s identity.

When a child is born during marriage, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father, even if the wife was known to be having an affair during the marriage. If another individual believes that he is the biological father of the child, he can bring a paternity action to become the legal father. The husband can file a Petition to Disestablish paternity if he knows he is not the father of the child born during the marriage. These issues can be complicated and complex. Please call the Law Offices of Alyssa D. Honickman for further review of your case.

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