Questions or uncertainties surrounding paternity can have a significant impact on cases involving parental rights, child custody, child or spousal support, and child relocation. In these cases, legal proof of paternity may be required in order to ensure that parental rights and obligations can be enforced.
In the eyes of the law, paternity can be established in a few ways. The most common method is through acknowledgement, in which both spouses simply state that they are the parents. This is, in essence, what happens at birth when parents fill out a birth certificate. It can also be established by signing an Affirmation of Paternity, in which the father claims parenthood. Paternity can also be assigned through presumption, if both parties were married at the time of a child’s conception.
Today, matters of Paternity are no longer a question
When disagreements or uncertainties concerning paternity arise, the court may be called upon to adjudicate. Frequently this involves a request for DNA samples, followed by a court ruling based on genetic testing. If the presumed father refuses to cooperate or fails to appear, the court may issue a ruling based on default, testimony, or other evidence.
If you’re dealing with a case involving paternity, you have rights. To discuss your legal options, contact us to arrange a no-obligation consultation.